Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani has been a constant source of baseball history this season. Seemingly every game, he sets a new record for versatility with the number of skills he possesses.
He was already a virtual lock for the MLB All-Star Game on July 13 in Denver, Colorado, with the Angels already having internal discussions as to what workload he would be allowed to have during the Midsummer Classic.
Clearly, he’s being given the full green light, as he announced Friday that he would be participating in the Home Run Derby, via his Instagram:
Ohtani makes history in several ways with this decision. He will be the first Japanese-born player to ever participate in the event, while also being the first Angels player since Albert Pujols in 2015.
In addition, he becomes the first derby participant in MLB history who has started even one game as a pitcher. Ohtani currently has 19 home runs on the season, good enough for third in the Major Leagues. He sits three behind Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Fernando Tatis Jr.
The Angels two-way star has hit some monster home runs this season, including a 470-foot blast to deep center field at Angel Stadium. Now, he’ll have a chance to show his power on the biggest stage. He also could turn around and start at the plate and the mound the very next day in the All-Star Game.
Ohtani is one of the leading American League MVP candidates to begin the year, and every single day is a reminder of why.
Ohtani pitches six innings against Tigers
In the Angels first full capacity home game since 2019, Ohtani threw six innings of one-run baseball against the Detroit Tigers. He allowed a total of six base runners in that time, while also striking out five. At the plate, he walked twice, demonstrating a new and improved plate discipline.