White Sox rookie slugger Jose Abreu not interested in participating in Home Run Derby

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White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu entered play Tuesday with 22 home runs — third in MLB behind only Edwin Encarnacion (24) of the Blue Jays and Nelson Cruz (23) of the Orioles. But the sensational rookie slugger doesn’t have any desire to strut his stuff in the 2014 Home Run Derby at Target Field.

“Home Run Derby is not something I’m too crazy about,” Abreu told Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times Tuesday through a translator. “It’s a good thing but I am not really interested or looking forward to. I really wouldn’t want to do it. I did it in Cuba several times and I wasn’t much into it.”

“The first thing it does is affect you mentally,” he continued. “You go out and try to hit home runs. I’m not a guy who tries to hit homers. I let them come when they come .. sometimes it messes with your mechanics.”

Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista was named the American League captain for the Home Run Derby and is in charge of finding four players to join him. Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is the NL captain.

Abreu signed a six-year, $68 million contract with Chicago last October after defecting from Cuba.