Los Angeles Angels superstars Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani were recently selected as starters for the 2021 MLB All-Star Game. Ohtani will undoubtedly be a major draw for the Midsummer Classic. However, his entry into the Home Run Derby the night before could be even more monumental.
The Home Run Derby is always a great opportunity for the league’s best power hitters to show what they can do with a baseball when the pitchers aren’t trying to get them out. So far, Ohtani is among five — of an eventual eight — who have already committed to join the event. However, it appears he is the biggest draw of anyone that could put their name in.
Trout certainly sees it that way, as he discussed what it will look like when Ohtani takes the plate at Coors Field on July 12, according to Mike DiGiovanna of The L.A. Times:
“If you haven’t seen him take [batting practice], watch him in the home run derby because it’s gonna be a show,” Trout said. “He can hit, line to line, with stupid power, and to see him hit in Colorado, with those balls they use in the derby, it’s gonna be must-see TV.
“It’s such an easy swing, but it’s violent. You’ve seen it the last few weeks. He’s unconscious at the plate. Anything he hits, it’s over the fence. With those balls they use in the derby, he might leave the stadium. Honestly. I’m being serious.”
Not only are the baseballs used generally lighter and easier to hit farther, it is also taking place at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado, where the thin air makes it even easier to hit home runs. All of this could be a recipe for success for Major League Baseball.
So far, the other four players who have decided to join Ohtani in the Home Run Derby are New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso, Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story, Baltimore Orioles first baseman Trey Mancini, and Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez.
Trout unlikely to play in All-Star Game
Despite being selected as a starter, it’s highly unlikely that Trout will get to play in the Midsummer Classic. Initially, there was hope that Trout would be recovered from his Grade 2 calf strain in time to play. But the Angels recently placed him on the 60-day IL. This means he cannot be activated to play until July 17, four days after the event.