Major League Baseball increasingly appears to be onto something with its All-Star Home Run Derby format.
For the second year in a row, the tournament-style derby proved to be a bonanza for interest in America’s Pastime.
Last year, the new format – not to mention Todd Frazier’s stirring victory in front of his home crowd at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati – produced a big viewing bump for ESPN, and this time around it’s Giancarlo Stanton’s winning performance that still has the sports world buzzing a day later.
The Miami Marlins sluggerrewrote the record books at Petco Park in San Diego, blasting 61 total home runs while topping three competitors.
He beat Frazier 20-13 in the final after besting Robinson Cano in the first round and taking down Mark Trumbo in the second.
How good was his performance? MLB.com rated it the best of the past 20 years – one spot ahead of Frazier’s victory a year ago. (Former Reds Ken Griffey Jr. and Josh Hamilton also made the list.)
First-time All-Star Adam Duvall’s bid to give the Reds back-to-back winners ended in the semifinals, ironically, at the hands of Frazier.
Related: Reds All-Star Game HR derby history
The 87th All-Star Game is set for Tuesday night on Fox.