By Mike Max

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Confidence is not an issue for 12-year-old Blake Guerin, a Shoreview, Minn., prospect  who will participate in the All-Star game in mid-July in San Diego.

He’s earned the trip by winning two home run contests. That means he’s down to the final eight nationally. Watch him swing and you can see why. He comes here to hone his craft.

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“He’s always had a natural swing but he’s relentless at working on it. He wants to do the work. He always asks me let’s go up to the park,” Jay Guerin, his father, said. “I’ve pitched tens of thousands of balls to him.”

It works. Last season at age 11, he had a banner summer.

“I hit 27 home runs last year,” Blake said.

He does it with a consistent approach. So is he thinking home run when he steps up to the plate?

“Not usually. I’m usually looking at the ‘A’ on my Easton bat. I look on the center of the ‘A’ and take a little breath. I just come up and do my two touches and I just think smash. Just smash the ball,” Blake said.

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So he entered a contest in Minnesota, advanced to Chicago and about 40 contestants…

“I heard if I won that I get to go to the All-Star Home Run Derby and I won the Chicago one. I get to go, so I’m real excited for that,” Blake said.

The next stop: Petco Field in San Diego for a national home run derby at next week’s All-Star Game.

“It’s going to be great. I keep telling him that the prize is already won, getting to get out there. Now you’re competing against seven other kids,” Jay said. “Who cares how you do out there, just have fun and enjoy the moment.”

Oh Blake will enjoy San Diego and the pageantry. This All-Star appearance will be a memorable one for all the right reasons.

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“I’m just more or less looking forward to going to San Diego and hang out, do all kinds of really cool stuff,” Blake said.

Mike Max