(AKRON, OHIO) July 8, 2016 - The Akron RubberDucks, in conjunction with the Eastern League of Professional Baseball, announced today the eight contestants scheduled to participate in the 2016 Eastern League Home Run Derby on Tuesday, July 12, at 8:05 p.m., following the RubberDucks Celebrity Softball Game, which will be headed up by RubberDucks manager David Wallace and Cleveland Indians Hall of Famer Carlos Baerga.
Two of the four Western Division contestants are Akron RubberDucks-first baseman Nellie Rodriguez and outfielder Bradley Zimmer. Joining them are Richmond Flying Squirrels' infielder Ryder Jones and Erie SeaWolves outfielder Jason Krizan.
The Eastern Division representatives include three Reading Fightin' Phils-catcher Jorge Alfaro, infielder Rhys Hoskins, and outfielder Dylan Cozens. Trenton Thunder catcher Kyle Higashioka rounds out the team.
Reading's Hoskins leads the Eastern League with 24 home runs, with his teammate Cozens right behind him with 23. Akron's Rodriguez ranks tied for third with 16 and Zimmer ranks sixth with 14.
The format for the Home Run Derby consists of three rounds, each two minutes in length. The top four home run hitters in round one will advance, regardless of division affiliation. Round two will cut the field from four to two, and round three will be a showdown for the Home Run Derby title. Home runs do not carry over between rounds. The winner will receive a one-of-a-kind, championship title belt.
2016 Eastern League Home Run Derby Lineup
Format: 3 rounds, each 2:00. Round One: 8 to 4. Round Two: 4 to 2. Final Round: Final 2 Showdown. Home runs do not carry over between rounds.
Name, Team HR
Nellie Rodriguez, Akron 16 (3rd in Eastern League)
Bradley Zimmer, Akron 14 (6th)
Ryder Jones, Richmond 8
Jason Krizan, Erie 7
Name, Team HR
Rhys Hoskins, Reading 24 (1st)
Dylan Cozens, Reading 23 (2nd)
Jorge Alfaro, Reading 11 (T9th)
Kyle Higashioka, Trenton 9 (T14th)
The Eastern League All-Star festivities span two days, July 12-13. Tuesday, July 12, will feature a Celebrity Softball Game at 7:00 p.m., which will be followed by the 2016 Eastern League Home Run Derby at 8:05 p.m. The softball game will feature a team led by three-time Major League all-star and Indians Hall of Famer Carlos Baerga against a team led by RubberDucks manager David Wallace. Following the Derby, there will be an Akron-themed fireworks show.
On the date of the 2016 Eastern League All-Star Game, Wednesday, July 13, gates will open at 4:30 p.m. for an autograph session. From 5:00-7:00 p.m., there will be a Main Street Festival on S. Main St. featuring live music, street entertainers, inflatables, and more fun and games. The All-Star Game is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. and will be followed by an Akron-themed fireworks show.
Co-sponsors of the 2016 Eastern League All-Star Game and festivities are Summa Health, Akron/Summit Convention & Visitors Bureau, Medical Mutual of Ohio, and Northern Ohio Honda Dealers.
Tickets for the Eastern League Home Run Derby and RubberDucks Celebrity Softball Game are $10 for reserved seats and $6 for general admission. Tickets for the 2016 Eastern League All-Star Game are $18 for reserved seats, $10 for general admission, groups of 24 or more can get $15 reserved tickets, and McDonald's Family Territory seats are $35, which includes a two-hour, all-you-can-eat picnic. Tickets can be purchased by calling the RubberDucks, visiting the Canal Park box office during normal business hours, calling 330-253-5151 or at www.akronrubberducks.com/allstar.
The 2016 Eastern League All-Star Game will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1350 AM, the WARF iHeart channel, and the TuneIn Radio App., and it will be available on MiLB.TV.
The Akron RubberDucks are the Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The 2016 season is its 20th since moving to Akron and third since becoming the RubberDucks. For more information about the team, please visit the RubberDucks' website, www.akronrubberducks.com, Facebook page www.facebook.com/AkronRubberDucks, Twitter feed @AkronRubberDuck, and Instagram at @akronrubberducks.