Beltran willing to participate in HR Derby

Beltran willing to participate in HR Derby

Published Jun. 13, 2012 4:20 p.m. ET

ST. LOUIS – If National League Home Run Derby captain Matt Kemp asked the current league leader in home runs to participate in next month's event, Carlos Beltran would gladly accept.

"Sure, I'd do it," Beltran said Wednesday. "Why not? I've never done it, so it would be a good experience. If that happens, I'd do it."

Beltran, who leads the National League with 19 home runs after hitting the game-winner Wednesday night against the White Sox, has been to six All-Star Games during his now 15-year big league career, but he's yet to participate in the Home Run Derby.

Asked whether or not the extra swings would be a problem for his troublesome knees, Beltran replied, "No. It's batting practice, you know?"

Making the possibility extra special for Beltran would be the All-Star Game's location in Kansas City. The switch-hitter spent the first seven years of his career playing for the Royals before being traded to Houston in 2004.

"If that happens, that would be great," Beltran said. "My career started there as a player, and since I got traded I've never been back. It's been like eight years since I've been back."

Beltran will actually make his first appearance back at Kauffman Stadium next weekend when the Cardinals travel to Kansas City for interleague play.

The veteran is now hitting .298 with 19 home runs, 47 RBI and 38 runs scored after Wednesday's 1-0 win. He signed a two-year, $26 million deal with the Cardinals in the offseason.

Major League Baseball released an update on the All-Star fan voting Tuesday and Beltran is currently second among outfielders in the National League. That means he's in line to start the Midsummer Classic on July 10.