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Cabrera eyeing Home Run Derby

Cabrera eyeing Home Run Derby

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MIAMI -- If asked, Miguel Cabrera would gladly accept.

Cabrera, voted into the All-Star Game on Sunday for the fourth straight season by his peers, would welcome the chance to compete in the State Farm Home Run Derby at AT&T Park in San Francisco on July 9.

"That's something I'd like to do," Cabrera said of competing in the popular Derby, which is held the night before the July 10 Midsummer Classic.

Cabrera said no one had asked him as of Sunday afternoon if he was willing to represent the National League in the Home Run Derby.

A year ago, Cabrera got a taste of the Home Run Derby, and he finished third in the competition at Pittsburgh. Ryan Howard of the Phillies won the 2006 slugging event.

Cabrera hit 15 homers in the 2006 Derby.

One of the most complete hitters in the game, Cabrera is a slugger who bats for a high average. In Sunday's 6-5 win over the Braves in 10 innings, the 24-year-old went 2-for-5 and raised his season average to .329.

Cabrera and Dan Uggla share the Marlins' home run lead with 17. And with 121 blasts in his career, Cabrera is fourth in franchise history in home runs. He is one behind Gary Sheffield for third place.

With tremendous raw power, Cabrera is always a favorite to watch while taking batting practice.

But for the most part, Cabrera doesn't stress hitting the ball over the wall in batting practice. A consummate hitter who works on driving the ball to the opposite field, his early rounds of BP are designated to hitting the ball to right field.

Rarely does Cabrera simply try to hit the ball as far as he can.

When players watch Cabrera's approach, they marvel because the Venezuelan-born slugger has the ability to blast home runs without trying to.

In the Derby a year ago, Cabrera didn't alter his swing in hopes of pulling the ball for home runs. Instead, he stayed within his approach, and let the results be what they were.

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"Those things aren't as easy as they look on TV," Uggla said of the Derby. "I've seen Miguel hit home runs at will in BP, any time he wants. I've seen him hit them to right field, center field and left field in BP.

"But last year, Ryan Howard put on a pretty good show."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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