Anthony Rizzo would love a shot at the Home Run Derby.
While White Sox slugger Jose Abreu signaled no interest in the All-Star event, the Cubs first baseman wouldn’t hesitate if he got an invitation from National League captain Troy Tulowitzki.
“I would love to do it,” Rizzo said Wednesday at Wrigley Field. “That would be something that would be really cool for my family, myself, everyone who grew up with me and helped me along the way.”
The Colorado Rockies shortstop can pick four players and could look at Rizzo, who began the day tied for third in the league with 17 homers. Rizzo remembered watching Ken Griffey Jr. do it with the backwards hat, and the show Josh Hamilton put on at Yankee Stadium in 2008, blasting 28 homers in the first round.
“As a kid, you dream of certain things,” Rizzo said. “One of them is winning the World Series, Game 7, bottom of the ninth. Another one is you’re always having Home Run Derbies. So I think it would be pretty neat.”
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Abreu has put up 23 homers through his first 65 games in the big leagues, living up to his $68 million contract and impressing the White Sox organization with his professional attitude and serious approach.
Through a translator, Abreu told the Chicago Sun-Times that he participated in similar events in Cuba and believes it can disrupt his mechanics, saying he’d pass on the July 14 showcase at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Rizzo doesn’t believe the Home Run Derby would mess with his swing.
“I think I would be able to get back into it,” Rizzo said. “My BP is pretty simple. It’s not like I’m trying to hit home runs in batting practice. I could, but I don’t want to. I think it would be fun, to be honest with you, but I’ve never done it, so I have no idea.”