The Eastern League All-Star break made it’s way to Akron, Ohio this year and the festivities began Tuesday night as eight of the premier power hitters in the league faced off in the Eastern League Home Run Derby.
A couple of Cleveland Indians prospects participated in the event. Akron’s own Bradley Zimmer and Nellie Rodriguez took part in a contest where participants swing as hard as they can for two straight minutes to try and hit more over the fence than the other guys.
The contest began with eight players and lasted three rounds until a champion was crowned. Each player was given two minutes in every round until they were eliminated to hit as many home runs as they could. The participants were cut in half as every round ended.
Zimmer was the first of the Rubberducks to step into the box and hit seven over the fence to hold onto the last spot in the second round until the last batter of the first round stepped to the plate, Nellie Rodriguez.
The Tribe’s first base prospect edged out Zimmer by one home run as he belted eight.
In the second round, Rodriguez tied Jason Krizan of the Erie SeaWolves as both players hit nine to advance to the final round to square off with Jorge Alfaro from the Reading Fightin’ Phils.
Rodriguez was first up in the final round, but his eight homers wouldn’t be enough to bring him the title.
Krizan hit 10 in his final at-bat to win the 2016 Eastern League Home Run Derby. He also hit the most total home runs in the contest with a total of 30.
Wednesday night the festivites will continue with the 2016 Eastern League All-Star game at Canal Park in Akron. The Rubberducks will have a league high seven players on the Western Division roster, highlighted by Zimmer, Clint Frazier and Rodriguez. Akron skipper David Wallace will also manage the West.
The game gets underway at 7:05.