– Twenty One players were selected by the Perfect Game staff to
participate in the Rawlings Home Run Challenge at the Metrodome
Saturday night. Southern California commit Rowdy Tellez (Elk Grove
HS, Elk Grove, Calif.) out-slugged Georgia commit Clint Frazier
(Loganville HS, Loganville, Ga.) 5-3 in the finals to win the derby
event included two rounds. Each player was allowed 10 outs per round.
Dunlap (Westbury Christian HS, Houston, Texas) led off the event with
three home runs.
home runs in the Metrodome was awesome,” Dunlap said. “Hits sound
like a gun went off.”
Sandberg (Manatee HS, Bradenton, Fla.), Dominic Smith (Serra HS, Los
Angeles, Calif.), Ryan Sullivan (Hopkinton HS, Hopkinton, Mass.) and
Leury Vargas (Haina, Dominican Republic) also hit three home runs in
the first round. Sandberg and Vargas each reached the upper deck in
right field, while Smith launched a ball off the suites in right.
hit three in the Metrodome is a pretty cool feeling,” Sandberg
said. “The bat felt awesome. The (Rawlings) silver VELO, it’s
definitely got some pop. I liked that one the best.”
was a little bit more relaxed than I thought it would be,” Sullivan
said. “I was just trying to see the pitch and hit it. I liked (the
bat) a lot. It’s different than most, it has a little bit more pop
to it. There’s a different sound coming off of it.”
asked if he’d consider using the same bat next year, Sullivan
smiled and replied, “Yes I would.”
participants included: Justin Williams (Terrebonne HS, Houma, La.),
Francis Christy (Casa Grande HS, Petaluma, Calif.), Travis Demeritte
(Winder Barrow HS, Statham, Ga.), Reese McGuire (Kentwood HS, Kent,
Wash.) and Austin Meadows (Grayson HS, Grayson, Ga.).
Meadows finished his turn and walked toward the dugout, Demeritte
joked, “Welcome to the no bomb club.”
Biggio (St. Thomas HS, Houston, Texas), son of likely Hall of Famer
Craig Biggio, hit two home runs, including one that went over the
press box in right field.
felt good,” Biggio said. “You just have to get one and I got two,
so I’m excited about that. (I was using) a good bat. I’m going to
Virginia and they’re sponsored by Rawlings so I’m excited to use
two home runs in the derby came just a few hours after he whacked the
event’s first home run in game action.
Maggio (Blessed Trinity HS, Alpharetta, Ga.) was one of four players
to reach the upper deck in right field.
feel pretty good about that,” Maggio said. “(Rawlings makes) a
good bat. It’s top heavy but it’s good when you get the barrel on
Collins (American Heritage HS, Pembroke Pines, Fla.) homered twice in
the event. One of his homers rattled into the right-center field
press box, another bounced off the façade in right.
Franklin (Gahr HS, Cerritos, Calif.), Dane McFarland (JSerra Catholic
HS, Laguna Niguel, Calif.), Will Haynie (Brentwood Academy,
Nashville, Tenn.) and Nicholas Banks (Tomball HS, Tomball, Texas)
each homered twice. Ronnie Healy (Jupiter HS, Jupiter, Fla.) also
homered in the derby.
Rivera (El Dorado HS, Fullerton, Calif.) finished third in the first
round with four home runs, all with nine outs.
a lot of pressure but you know it’s a lot of fun too,” Rivera
said. “I liked the (Rawlings) bat. It has a lot of pop compared to
the other bats so I’ll probably think about using that next
and Tellez put on impressive hitting displays in the first round.
Frazier hit six bombs to left-center and left field, one of which
landed about 20 rows up.
felt pretty good going in, but it took me a minute to find my
groove,” Frazier said. I couldn’t seem to get (any hits) out to
left-center, so I just tried to go dead pull and get under it a
little bit. It felt pretty good.”
6-foot-4, 230-pound left-handed hitting Tellez was the final batter
of the first round. He started slow but got into a groove, launching
seven monster shots to right field. One of the homers bounced off the
scoreboard above the press box in right-center, a shot that Tellez
estimated at 450 feet. Two more of his homers reached the upper
deck—one sailed over the entrance to section 213 down the right
players on the field hooted and hollered as Tellez launched home run
after home run and each congratulated him with high-fives after his
isn’t my first home run derby,” Tellez said with a grin between
fact, he won one last year with his high school team and finished
second in another. He once hit a home run that sailed over a
two-story house behind his high school field, which his coaches
estimated at 490 feet.
the finals, Frazier hit two more home runs—giving him a total of
eight—an impressive feat considering only Tellez hit more than
continued to wow his peers in the finals, smacking a total of five
homers. One of them reached the upper deck in right field, raising
his upper deck total on the night to four. He stepped out of the
batter’s box after his title-clinching third bomb, only to have the
players on the field encourage him to keep going.
was crazy,” Tellez said after having his picture taken with
Frazier, Rawlings representative Kyle Murphy and his new Rawlings
Home Run Derby trophy. Everybody (here) is challenging you. You get
this opportunity to come out here and you’ve got to take advantage
of it. I still have the games left (two on Sunday, one Monday) so
we’ll see how those go.”
was the fifth Rawlings-sponsored Home Run Derby at the PG National
Showcase. Tellez joins previous winners Jonathan Singelton (2008),
Justin O’Conner (2009), Joshua Tobias (2010) and C.J. Hinojosa