DENVER – The Home Run Festival, arguably the top attraction on the calendar for the annual Major League All-Star Game festivities, will serve as a preamble to the historic show he plans to put on. Shohei ohtani at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado.
The Los Angeles Angels two-way superstar will look to become the first Japanese to win the Home Run Derby, one day before serving as the designated hitter in the starting lineup and part of the American League pitching staff in the Game of Throwing. Major League Baseball stars against the National League.
“I’ve always wanted to see a Japanese player participate in the Home Run Derby, and it turns out it’s me. So I’m very excited,” said Ohtani, who will debut in the All-Star Game activities in the United States, but was a home run Derby champion. in the Japanese league in 2016.
Ohtani, who leads the major leagues with 33 homers, four triples, 210 total bases and .698 Slugging, is the first player in All-Star Game history (created in 1933) chosen as a hitter and pitcher at the same time. The left-handed slugger and right-hander hit 17 of his home runs over 420 feet while starting 13 games and striking out 87 batters in 67 innings.
In the Home Run Derby (8 pm on ESPN, ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN +) Ohtani will compete directly with the Dominican outfielder Juan Soto, of the Washington Nationals, and then with the winner between Venezuelan receiver Salvador Pérez, of the Kansas City Royals, and first baseman Pete alonso, of the New York Mets, for the ticket to the final of the contest.
On the other side they will face Joey gallo, of the Texas Rangers, against Trevor story, the Colorado Rockies, and Matt olson, of the Oakland Athletics, with Trey manciniof the Baltimore Orioles. Alonso, who won at Progressive Field in Cleveland in 2019, is the defending champion. The coronavirus pandemic prevented the All-Star Game from taking place last year.
Batters will have three minutes per round in the first and second rounds and two minutes in the final. The clock begins with the release of the first pitch and the round ends when the stopwatch reads zero. A home run will count as long as the pitch has been thrown before the timer reaches zero.
Coors Field, which is 5,200 meters above sea level, is the most homer-friendly major league park. The altitude, low air density, very hot temperatures and, as speculated years ago, a livelier ball for the Home Run Derby, could make the perfect storm for this year’s event.
Expectations in Denver indicate that in addition to all the other factors, the breeze would be blowing into right field, favoring left-handed hitters (like Othani, Soto, Gallo and Olson) over right-handers.
The home run record in a Derby was set by the Dominican. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., of the Toronto Blue Jays, with the 91 that he hit in 2019, when however he lost the final to Alonso.
Ohtani isn’t exactly the hitter who just scoops balls into his hand. In fact, Guerrero is the only player in all of the major leagues with more home runs into the opposite quadrant than Ohtani’s 17.
The Home Run Festival is just the beginning of two days that could be historic for baseball for the presence of the first successful two-way player in more than a century. In 1919, the legendary Babe Ruth had what might be the most complete season (before Ohtani) for a batter / pitcher when he hit .317 with 16 homers and a .617 slugging and on the mound he was 9-5, 2.97 and on the mound. 30 strikeouts in 133.1 innings.
In the first half of the 2021 season, Ohtani hit .279 with 33 home runs, 12 stolen bases, 70 RBIs and 65 scored on the tree, while in the box he was 4-1, ERA 3.49 and struck out 11.7 batters for nine innings.
The 27-year-old Japanese man with four seasons in American baseball wants to put all his skills to work on Monday and Tuesday at Coors Field. His manager in Los Angeles, Joe Maddon, supports him 100 percent.
“The conclusion is that [además de abrir como designado] He’s going to pitch, but it’s not determined how it’s going to happen, “Maddon said.” There are different ways to do it, obviously. He could start the game or enter a game in progress. “