NEW YORK (AP) – Yoenis Cespedes has won baseball’s Home Run Derby, becoming the first player left out of the All-Star game to take home the crown.
The Oakland Athletics slugger beat Bryce Harper 9-8 in the final round Monday night at reconfigured Citi Field, hitting the decisive drive with five swings to spare.
In only his second major league season, the outfielder from Cuba dropped his bat and raised his arm when he sent his 32nd homer of the night some 455 feet to deep center field, where it caromed off the back wall of the black batter’s eye. He was swarmed by the American League All-Stars near the third base line.
The final addition to the field, Cespedes was the fourth player not selected for the All-Star game to compete in the event.