Shohei Ohtani Reveals Stance on Home Run Derby Offer Before Deadline
Shohei Ohtani certainly put on a show for the audience in Colorado during the 2021 MLB Home Run Derby. He smacked 28 long balls in the opening round, but lost to Juan Soto in an exciting swing off. The Los Angeles Angles star recently revealed his stance on competing in the event again next week.
Shohei Ohtani Home Run Derby
Ohtani explained that his decision remains up in the air right now and could be determined by his workload during the All-Star Game. He hasn't found out what that will look like yet. Dusty Baker said on Wednesday that Ohtani is a candidate to be the AL starter for the second year in a row, though.
It'll have to be a quick decision as the MLB Home Run Derby participants will be officially announced along with the bracket at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday. Only one spot remains open with Soto, Pete Alonso, Ronald Acuna Jr., Kyle Schwarber, Jose Ramirez, Julio Rodriguez and Albert Pujols all confirmed.
A swing seems effortless, yet eludes power would make Ohtani a perfect addition to the event. The 28-year-old finished third in the AL with 46 home runs during the 2021 season and currently ranks tied for ninth with 19 in 2022. His average exit velocity on 92.9 mph ranks seventh in MLB.
While it would be thrilling to see Ohtani take part in the derby again, his health is of utmost importance for an Angels team in need of a big second half to the season. They currently sit 8.0 games back of the final AL Wild Card spot with an underwhelming 39-50 record.
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