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Eastern League Announces Home Run Derby Participants

Eastern League Announces Home Run Derby Participants

| On 08, Jul 2016

The eight contestants for the 2016 Eastern League Home Run Derby were announced on Friday as a pair of RubberDucks will represent Akron at the contest held at Canal Park on Tuesday, July 12.

Akron outfielder Bradley Zimmer and first baseman Nellie Rodriguez will be two of the four Western Division participants and will be joined by Richmond’s Ryder Jones and Erie’s Jason Krizan.

The Eastern Division will be represented by three members of the Reading Fightin’ Phils – catcher Jorge Alfaro, outfielder Dylan Cozens, and infielder Rhys Hoskins. Trenton’s Kyle Higashioka will be the final member of the four-man team.

The derby will consist of three rounds, two minutes in length per player. The four players with the top totals in the first round will advance to the second round, regardless of what division they represent. The second round will eliminate two more players, with the third round serving as the championship round. Home runs will not carry over from round to round and the winner of the competition will earn a “one-of-a-kind, championship title belt”.

The game will feature the top three home run hitters in the Eastern League (Hoskins, 24; Cozens, 23; and Rodriguez, 16). Rodriguez is the top home run hitter among the Western Division players in the derby, with Zimmer second with his 14.

The Home Run Derby will follow Tuesday’s RubberDucks Celebrity Softball Game, with Akron manager David Wallace fielding a team against former Major Leaguer and Cleveland Indians Hall of Famer Carlos Baerga.

Among the participants in the softball game are Baerga, former Indians players Travis Hafner, Joe Inglett, Jensen Lewis, and Julian Tavarez, current RubberDucks coach Luke Carlin, and Akron trainer Jeremy Heller.

Media members, including 91.3 The Summit’s Tommy Bruno, ESPN Cleveland’s Jerod Cherry and Matt Fontana, WAKR’s Ray Horner, 92.3 The Fan’s Dustin Fox, Fox Sports Ohio’s Jimmy Hanlin, and WKYC’s Betsy Kling, and former northeast Ohio sports stars Hector Marinaro (former Cleveland Force and Cleveland Crunch star), Otto Orf (former Crunch goalkeeper), Butch Reynolds (Olympic medalist and world-record-holder sprinter), Dave Robinson (Pro Football Hall of Famer and Super Bowl champion), and Frank Stams (former Cleveland Browns linebacker and St. Vincent-St. Mary High School standout) will also join in the fun.

Tickets for Tuesday’s festivities are $10 for reserved seats and $6 for general admission.

The softball game and derby will by followed by the Eastern League All-Star Game on Wednesday, July 13, at 7:05 PM. Tickets are $18 for reserved seats and $10 for general admission.

Photo: Thomas Roy/Union Leader