MIAMI -- It's still early to get the invitation, but reigning National League rookie of the month Kris Bryant would be a willing participant in next month's Home Run Derby.
"Absolutely, but we're not at that point yet," the Chicago Cubs third baseman said Wednesday afternoon after learning he was named rookie of the month for May. "I still have a lot of work to do to get to that point. But if that comes up, that would be pretty cool."
Entering Wednesday, Bryant had seven home runs -- all hit last month -- to go along with a .273 batting average, a .387 on-base percentage and 33 RBIs, the last statistic leading the Cubs despite Bryant having missed the first eight games of the season.
Bryant won the home run derby contest last season at the Double-A Southern League All-Star Game en route to 43 regular-season home runs and being named minor league player of the year.
"For myself and my swing, I think I like to hit balls in the air anyway, and you need to do that for the Home Run Derby so my swing won't be that much different," he said.
Bryant led all amateurs by a margin of 12 in belting 31 at the University of San Diego in 2013 before being drafted No. 2 overall by the Cubs. He went on to lead the Arizona Fall League in home runs that same year and then all hitters this past spring training as well. It took him 20 games to hit his first big league home run earlier this year but he has seven in his past 23 contests. He was asked whether he was worried participating in the Home Run Derby would change his swing.
"It didn't change my swing last year after the Double-A home run derby," Bryant said. "I think that's all a myth that some people like talking about."
Participants for the Home Run Derby, which will be held the night before the All-Star Game in Cincinnati, normally are announced after the All-Star teams are compiled in early July.