Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani will participate in 2021 Home Run Derby

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Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani has been putting on a show all season and it won’t be much different for the All-Star festivities in Denver this coming July. Given his all-around skills, it would be fun to see the trifecta, with Ohtani participating in the Home Run Derby, taking at least one at-bat and appearing as a pitcher.

We’re 1/3 of the way home, with Ohtani announcing Friday that he’s in the Derby with a fun video compilation: 

What Ohtani’s doing right now is like nothing we’ve seen since the likes of Babe Ruth, and he played pre-integration. Ohtani is hitting .270/.354/.615 with 19 home runs and 10 steals. On the hill, he’s 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 53 1/3 innings. 

Concerning the Derby, Ohtani immediately has to be one of the favorites. He has light-tower power and puts on shows in batting practice. He has topped out at 470 feet this season and his average home run is 419 feet, trailing only Yermín Mercedes, Jorge Soler, Corey Dickerson and Fernando Tatis, Jr. Ohtani is also fifth in average exit velocity and he leads the majors in barrel percentage. 

Quite simply: When pitchers are trying to get him out, Ohtani still squares the ball up more than anyone and hits it as hard and far as just about anyone. In the Home Run Derby, he’ll have a pitcher trying to help him hit it out of Coors Field. 

The Home Run Derby will take place Monday, July 12. Ohtani is the first known participant, but there have been strong signs 2019 show-stealer Vladimir Guerrero wants a second chance to win it. Now that there’s a clock, it’s must-see viewing. Having Ohtani in the event only enhances that status. 

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