Coors Field will play a welcoming host to what’s bound to be a thrilling night of action with the MLB’s Home Run Derby on July 12.
But the event just got a little bit more exciting, and historic, as Los Angeles Angels two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani announced on Friday he would be participating in the contest.
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Ohtani, 26, will make history in several different ways, as he’ll be the first Japanese-born participant in the event’s history. He’s also the first contestant to ever start an MLB game as a pitcher.
At the plate this season, Ohtani has a slash line of .270 / .354 / .615 with 47 RBIs and 19 home runs. On the bump, he is 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA, 73 strikeouts and a 1.16 WHIP.
As for possible competitors for Ohtani, who’s the first to unveil his participation, the Blue Jays’ Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr. are tied for the MLB lead in home runs at 22 apiece. Oakland’s Matt Olson and Atlanta’s Ronald Acuna Jr. trail Ohthani in fourth place with 18 home runs each.
As for a home-town participant option, second baseman Ryan McMahon leads all Rockies with 16 home runs, good enough for eighth in all of baseball.
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