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Votto reportedly open to joining Derby

Reds first baseman would consider taking part in event if asked
MLB.com

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.

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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.

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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, Scott Schebler and Adam Duvall, 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.

David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.

Cincinnati Reds, Joey Votto