07/05/07 3:42 PM EST
Cabrera to swing away in Derby
Marlins slugger will get chance to showcase power
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
Miguel Cabrera has been added as one of the participants in the State Farm Home Run Derby on Monday at AT&T Park in San Francisco.
The 24-year-old Venezuelan native has connected for 17 home runs this season, and he is on pace for his third 30-home run season.
Cabrera has made it clear that he enjoys the Home Run Derby, and he is thankful to get a chance to compete for the second time.
On Sunday, Cabrera was selected to his fourth straight All-Star Game. The lone Marlins representative headed to San Francisco, Cabrera competed in the Home Run Derby at Pittsburgh in 2006. He finished third in the competition, which was won by Philadelphia's Ryan Howard.
Still, Cabrera had a strong showing, belting 15 home runs.
"When I went to my first two All-Star Games, they [didn't ask me] to do it," Cabrera said.
Unlike a number of sluggers who feel that swinging for the fences messes up their swings, Cabrera isn't worried about that happening to him.
"I am taking the same approach," Cabrera said. "See the ball and hit home runs."
Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez will pitch to Cabrera at the Derby. Gonzalez recently was added to the National League coaching staff by All-Star manager Tony La Russa of the Cardinals.
"Miguel is disciplined and he is darn good," said Gonzalez, who is not concerned about anything negative happening to Cabrera's swing.
The Home Run Derby will take place on Monday, the day before the annual Midsummer Classic in San Francisco.
Cabrera is a unique hitter who can hit better than .330 and deliver more than 30 home runs annually. The belief is that if he concentrated on his power numbers, he could belt 40 to 50, but he won't sacrifice his batting average to do so.
"Miguel is a hitter," Gonzalez said. "He has power. He's not one of those swing-and-miss guys."
Cabrera is the first Marlin to be selected to the All-Star Game four times. In all four years, he was voted in by the players.
While New York Mets third baseman David Wright was voted in as the National League starter by the fans, Cabrera was the players' pick among NL third basemen.
Promoted to the big leagues in June 2003, Cabrera has 121 career home runs, which is fourth most in Marlins history. In his career, he has five home runs in 79 at-bats at AT&T Park.
Cabrera's next home run will tie him with Gary Sheffield for third place in club history with 122.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.