On Sunday night, the two-way phenom expressed interest in slugging in the Home Run Derby next month. He hasn’t been formally invited yet, but he’s letting it be known that he wants to compete.
Ohtani, 24, is a two-way sensation on the field, serving as both a pitcher and designated hitter for Los Angeles, and brought a ton of hype when he came over from Japan a few years ago. He’s not pitching this season due to Tommy John surgery last fall, but he’s still finding success at the plate. After hitting 22 homers in his rookie season last year, Ohtani has nine though 41 games this season.
Those aren’t eye-popping power numbers but they should be enough to score him an invite with his name recognition. In fact, Ohtani statline makes a more compelling case than Vladdy Jr.’s (seven homers in 48 games) and will bring some additional international appeal.
It seems like an invite is inevitable now, as one would think that this is pretty much a no-brainer for MLB. Any chance you get to add one of the league’s most talented and intriguing players to a marquee event, that’s not something you should pass up.