Leading in All-Star voting, Henderson says he's blessed and would take part in Home Run Derby - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff

Leading in All-Star voting, Henderson says he’s blessed and would take part in Home Run Derby

Photo Credit: Daniel Kucin Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

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NEW YORK—Gunnar Henderson had a 200,000 vote lead on Kansas City’s Bobby Witt Jr. in the shortstop vote for the American League’s All-Star team that was announced Monday.

“It was really humbling, and I’m very honored and blessed to be in that position,” Henderson said on Tuesday. “I’m just going to go out there and continue to play my game and just try to help my team win ballgames. That’s the most important thing to me.”

Henderson is batting .274 with 22 home runs, including eight leadoff homer and 49 RBIs. He has a 10-game hitting streak.

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Besides Henderson, Adley Rutschman is leading among catchers, and Ryan Mountcastle is a close second in the first basemen vote. Jordan Westburg is second among third basemen, and Anthony Santander and Colton Cowser are fifth and seventh among outfielders.

“It’s a testament to the guys we have here,” Henderson said. “Everybody plays hard, plays their game and goes out there and tries to help the team win, and stuff like that will come along with it. That’s just the mindset we have, to go out there and play hard baseball and whatever comes with it, comes with it.”

Manager Brandon Hyde his happy his players are doing well in the balloting.

“It’s awesome that our fans are voting a lot for our guys,” Hyde said. “Fans around the country, too, that recognize how well these guys have played. We have so many guys that deserve to go. Our players are fun to watch. We have a bunch of really good players that deserve to be there. I was pleased to see that. I was pleased to see how high our guys were in [the] voting.”

Last year, Rutschman participated in the Home Run Derby, and Henderson said he would accept an invitation to this year’s Derby on July 15th at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

“I feel like it would be cool to do,” Henderson said. “I watched it growing up. I don’t know if that’s possible in the future. It would be cool to do.”

Henderson would have Hyde’s approval.

“It’s totally up to him,” Hyde said. “I’ve been fortunate to be on some pretty good teams with guys who’ve been in the Home Run Derby. If they want to do it, great. If they don’t, I understand, also, but it’s a cool moment for them.”

Hyde thought that Rutschman’s performance in last year’s Derby — in which he batted left and right — was terrific.

“Adley in the Home Run Derby, that was a special moment, especially as a father,” Hyde said. “That was an amazing show. It was unbelievably entertaining. For him to switch around to the other side, with his dad throwing, it was a heartwarming moment, not only because of knowing him well, knowing his dad, how helpful that must have been, but him showcasing how talented he is in front of national television is really cool.”

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