“Next two years, no,” Harper said. “Probably at home. I’d like to do it in D.C.”
Washington will host the 2018 All-Star Game and the Home Run Derby that precedes it. Harper, the Nationals’ star right fielder, didn’t participate in Monday’s event at Great American Ball Park in large part because his father Ron suffered a severe shoulder injury in a snowboarding accident. Ron Harper had thrown to Bryce during his first Home Run Derby appearance in 2013.
But Harper said he had no regrets about watching Frazier and Pederson battle.
“I had a blast,” Harper said. “To be able to watch Joc and Frazier going at it that last round. After Joc hit , you’re thinking to yourself, ‘Man, is Frazier going to come back and do this?’ The crowd got behind him, and he had a lot of fun doing it.
“And also, [having] the hometown guy win in front of his crowd is something that’s pretty impressive and a lot of fun to watch. So I enjoyed it.”
No one enjoyed it more than Frazier, the Reds third baseman who was voted into the National League’s starting lineup and is enjoying the entire experience. Fans reacted positively to the altered format, in which competitors faced each other one-on-one in timed rounds of four minutes apiece with bonus time for longer home runs.
“I’d never hit a buzzer-beating home run before,” Frazier said. “It was fun.”
He also drew energy from more than 43,000 in attendance. The one glitch in the entire operation: when Frazier got home, his power was out. When he finally got his phone recharged, he had more than 300 text messages.
“It’s still buzzing over here,” he said.
Should Frazier defend his title, he’ll do so in San Diego’s spacious Petco Park next year. Harper, though, claims he’ll sit out then and the following year in Miami – when the hometown favorite will be Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who missed this year’s events with a hand injury.
“Next two years I probably wouldn’t do it, San Diego and Miami,” he said. “Stanton would probably win in Miami anyways.”