By Bruce Levine–
CHICAGO (CBS) — He has had four cracks at the All-Star Game Home Run Derby. Now, White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier would like another shot.
Frazier isn’t a name that’s as sexy as Aaron Judge or Cody Bellinger right now. But as a former Derby winner in 2015 in Cincinnati, many believe he should be entitled to return.
Frazier has 13 home runs this season after hitting a career-high 40 in 2016. An important aspect of this story is that Frazier embraces the fun and frolic attached to the Derby, while most others complain of the power-sapping toll it takes on the powerful men who get into the final rounds.
“I heard (Giancarlo) Stanton was going to be in it,” Frazier said about the competition in Miami on July 10. “It is exciting to me. Besides the All-Star game, I believe it’s the best. If you want the truth, it is probably more exciting than the All-Star Game.”
At 31, Frazier won’t be coming back to the White Sox once he hits free agency after this season. Frazier has hit better as of late, but his .213 batting average isn’t attracting much attention from would-be trading partners right now. It would, of course, be best for all parties if the White Sox could find him a nice contending team as his destination for the final two months of the season.
In the meantime, he appears to be a vocal leader on this team. The fact that he brings a lot of energy to the clubhouse and field makes him a great candidate to show that enthusiasm in the Derby. Baseball needs energizers, and Frazier is a kinetic force.
“You wish everybody could be like that,” Frazier said about the fun that can be had around the game. “Just to watch everyone’s BP and ask them about their swing. That is so much fun. Look, how many times are you going to have a chance to be in the Home Run Derby? How many times are you going to be asked? I would do it every year if I could. We will see what happens. I have not talked to anybody yet.”
Frazier was runner-up in 2014 before taking the event in front of his home crowd at the Great American Ballpark in 2015.
He holds the all-time record cumulative mark of 91 total home runs hit in the Derby. Stanton set the single-game record, hitting 61 last season in San Diego.
“I would do it,” Frazier said. “It is a pretty cool event. You get to wear an All-Star jersey. After that, you get to take it home and hang it up in your house. When you eventually look back on your career, you can say you have been to all of these Home Run derbies. Even if you never won a World Series, it was a cool event you did do. That is something you can reflect on.”
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.