#Cubs Rizzo, Bryant to compete in HR Derby

Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant will both compete in the 2015 Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders, to be held Monday at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

Rizzo and Bryant will compete along with the Reds’ Todd Frazier and two-time champ Prince Fielder of the Rangers. Others in the event include Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson, who was MLB’s leading vote-getter for the 2015 All-Star Game; Orioles third baseman Manny Machado; Dodgers rookie outfielder Joc Pederson; and three-time NL MVP Albert Pujols of the Angels.

The last Cubs player to participate in the event was Sammy Sosa in 2004. He won it all in 2000.

This year’s event will introduce a new streamlined format featuring brackets and timed rounds. Brackets in the first round were seeded based on 2015 home run totals through Tuesday’s games. The first round matchups will include No. 1 seed Pujols vs. No. 8 seed Bryant; No. 2 seed Frazier vs. No. 7 seed Fielder; No. 3 seed Donaldson vs. No. 6 seed Rizzo; and No. 4 seed Pederson vs. No. 5 seed Machado.

Bryant, the sixth rookie to compete in the Derby, will have his father, Mike, a former Minor League pitcher in the Red Sox system, throw to him, while Rizzo will try to get an edge with Cubs coach Franklin Font.

“I’m looking forward to experiencing that with my dad — not many kids can say they had their dad pitch to him in the Home Run Derby,” Bryant said.

Said Rizzo: “It’s going to be exciting. Kris and I will really enjoy it; I think everyone that will participate will enjoy it. It’s something I watched growing up as a kid, and participated in a few, and it’s going to be awesome.”

Rizzo has hit six home runs in 88 at-bats over 23 games at Great American Ball Park; Bryant has none in two games there.

—  Carrie Muskat

7 Comments

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Fowler is `awful` as a left handed hitter, which is what he does 90% of his ab`s. I hope he`s not back next season. In fact, I`d replace him now if I could. I liked Alcantara last season. Is he anywhere near major league ready to return? Perhaps Fowler should consider batting right handed full time, because this `switch hitting` approach ain`t working. I`ve heard it said his lack of production in 2015 as a left handed batter is by far the worst in his career.

Weren’t you the one who wAnt szczur too??? How’d that work for u?

I reckon it`s both Mat B and myself who want to prove yourself mistaken. The jury is still out, pal, as Szczur figures to be given plenty of future opportunities. He could be `a late bloomer` too, just the reverse of your boy Starlin who was a better player four years ago than presently.

Both these players are willing to risk `messing up` their swings for the regular season second half. They are both opposing their manager`s best advice. That`s their free choices. I am not a fan of `the home run derby,` as y`all may have deduced. But it`s important to Anthony and Kris, and I respect their decisions. Did I make foolish decisions when I was in my early twenties? Absolutely I did. You can take it to the bank!

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