Kris Bryant ‘absolutely’ wants to participate in 2015 Home Run Derby
Chicago Cubs rising star Kris Bryant is at long last making his mark at the major league level. But he if he had his way, he would be thrilled with the opportunity to make a lasting impression on even a larger stage.
Bryant, who won the NL Rookie of the Month for May, indicated he would like a crack at participating in the Home Run Derby at the 2015 All-Star Game when its held on July 14 at Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park.
“Absolutely, but we’re not at that point yet,” he said Wednesday afternoon, per a report from ESPN’s Jesse Rogers. “I still have a lot of work to do to get to that point. But if that comes up, that would be pretty cool.”
After missing the season’s first eight games amid controversy over the suspicion that the Cubs sent him to the minors to get an extra year before Bryant hits free agency, Bryant has hit seven home runs, all during the month of May.
Bryant stated his swing is perfect for the Derby.
“For myself and my swing, I think I like to hit balls in the air anyway, and you need to do that for the Home Run Derby so my swing won’t be that much different,” he said.
He won the 2014 Southern League (Double-A) Home Run Derby last year by crushing 14 homers during a minor league season during which he knocked out 43 home runs and was named minor league player of the year.
Unlike some players who avoid the skills competition over concern that participating in the Home Run Derby will have an adverse effect on their swing, Bryant has no such worries.
“It didn’t change my swing last year after the Double-A home run derby,” Bryant said. “I think that’s all a myth that some people like talking about.”
The perceived lack of star power has been a source of concern at times for the Home Run Derby, as the game’s biggest stars often won’t take part — for the above-mentioned reason, among others — so anytime a big name player wants in, it’s a good thing.