Votto reportedly open to joining Derby

Reds first baseman would consider taking part in event if asked

June 23rd, 2017

Maybe the 2017 T-Mobile Home Run Derby will be the one that finally features Joey Votto.
A four-time All-Star, Votto has never participated in a Derby. But the Reds' first baseman said he'd be open to taking part this year if asked, according to Cincinnati.com, although only if he made the All-Star team. This year's Home Run Derby takes place in Miami on July 10, beginning at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Votto hasn't been asked yet, but if he did join the Home Run Derby, he said, he thinks he can win.
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Why doubt him? Votto's renowned for his discipline and skill at the plate, and he has plenty of home run power. The 33-year-old is tied for second in the National League with 20 home runs this season, and he has five 25-homer seasons to his name. This year's pace puts him on track to set a career high in home runs.
Votto jokingly compared himself to another long-desired Derby participant -- Ichiro, whose legendary batting-practice home run displays have had fans clamoring for him to join the Home Run Derby for years.
"Just think of me as the Canadian Ichiro -- Japan has theirs and Canada has theirs," Votto told Cincinnati.com. "Yes, I could pull homers into the seats at will."
It's a popular opinion that Ichiro could win a Home Run Derby if he wanted to -- even MLB all-time home run king Barry Bonds said he thought Ichiro could win one before last year's All-Star Game. Similar logic could apply to Votto, who has a contact reputation (although Votto has hit plenty of homers, and far more than Ichiro) but with the skill to mash if he so desired.
Votto's fellow Reds sluggers, and , are on board. They think winning a Home Run Derby is well within Votto's capabilities. They could be Derby candidates this year, too, with 20 and 16 homers, respectively -- although per Cincinnati.com's report, they also have not yet been approached about participating.