Harvey is Midwest League HR king

Chiefs slugger hits bus, light stanchion with blasts

June 21, 2005 6:25 PM ET

PEORIA, Ill. -- Nothing escaped the reach of Ryan Harvey's bat Tuesday night during Home Run Derby at the Midwest League All-Star Game at O'Brien Field.

Palm trees lining the left field concourse, a City Link bus cruising past the park on Jefferson Street and the top of a light standard looming high above the left field power alley all became targets for Harvey's blasts.

The chiseled, 6-foot-5, 225-pound Peoria Chiefs outfielder easily was the most impressive slugger in claiming the first place trophy and $100 prize in the long ball launching contest. But he had to sweat out his victory over Clinton's Emerson Frostad.

Harvey paced the seven other contestants with eight homers in the preliminary round, but managed just one in leading off the head-to-head final showdown. Frostad got to bat last, but failed to hit one out.

The eight home run representatives were given 10 outs in the prelims, while the two finalists got an additional five outs. Home runs during the preliminary round did not carry over to the final.

"I just tried to keep the same downward plane swing I normally do and hit the ball as hard as I can, pretty much," said Harvey, the Chicago Cubs' first-round draft choice in 2003 from Palm Beach, Fla.

Harvey drew the largest oohs and aahs from the crowd during the prelims. He pounded his third homer high in the air off the top of the main left field light pole before knocking his seventh out of the park and off the side of a bus.

"As far as I know, there isn't anything extra for hitting the most passing traffic," Harvey said with a chuckle.

Frostad frequently equaled Harvey's distance, but not his consistency. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound lefty sent four of his five homers onto Adams Street beyond the right field fence.

"You have to swing a little differently than you normally would and it took me some time to get used to it," said Frostad, the Texas Rangers' 11th-round pick in 2003 and a native of Calgary, Alberta. "But Harvey deserved it. He really hit the ball hard.

"You look at his size and his strength and he's going to be among this league's leaders in home runs as long as he's here. Physically, he looks a lot like Richie Sexson."

South Bend's Allen Mottram just missed the final with four home runs. Wisconsin's Rob Johnson hit just two, while Southwest Michigan's John Jaso, Fort Wayne's Colt Morton and South Bend's Agustin Murillo each had one. Beloit outfielder Deacon Burns was shut out.

Harvey was no stranger to this format. He was a finalist in the Northwest League's 2004 Home Run Derby while playing with the Cubs' Rookie League affiliate in in Boise.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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