|Grullon celebrates his HR Derby win, (nice) image- Jay Floyd|
The All-Star catcher for the Double-A Reading Fightin Phils launched longball after longball and convincingly won the Eastern League Home Run Derby on Tuesday night.
Eight participants would each have a four-minute turn to hit as many homers as they could and the top two totals would advance to a championship round.
Grullon, a 22-year-old righty batting Phillies prospect topped all hitters in the opening round, slugging 14 round trippers, some of which peppered the highway, Route 29, beyond the left field foul pole and one of which traveled as far south as Bordentown, as the host Trenton Thunder PA announcer Matt Hillman asserted, from ARM & HAMMER Park.
Rockies outfield prospect Sam Hilliard would face Grullon for the prize money, title belt and delicious meat product, all courtesy of event sponsor Case's Pork Roll.
Hilliard stepped to the plate first, slugging nine homers in a four-minute title round. Those appeared to be enough to win, until Grullon heated up midway through his turn. He would collect 11 homers in the round off of Trenton bullpen coach Luis Dorante to grab the derby crown.
Grullon, who looked a bit drained following the triumph on a humid and sticky night, stated that he pulled from his late father to top the other seven competitors.
"My energy is from my father." Grullon explained. "I was blessed at the moment. I mean I expect a lot of energy here with all the players, but this is for my father. And I'm tired, but I won this honor."
In 54 games with Reading this season, Grullon sports a .287 batting average with a career high tying 12 homers and 40 RBI.