Shohei Ohtani on 2022 MLB Home Run Derby: 'I Definitely Want to Participate Again'July 14, 2021
Fresh off being the face of Major League Baseball's All-Star festivities, Shohei Ohtani hopes to have another opportunity to participate in one of the sport's signature events.
Speaking to reporters after the American League's 5-2 win over the National League on Tuesday night, Ohtani was asked about potentially taking part in a future Home Run Derby.
"I definitely want to participate again," Ohtani said through his interpreter. "But for that to happen, I need to have a good first half of that season."
Ohtani embraced his role as the new face of MLB over the past two days. The 27-year-old was the No. 1 overall seed in the Home Run Derby. He also became the first player ever to start the All-Star Game as a pitcher and position player.
Even though the Home Run Derby result wasn't what fans were hoping to see, Ohtani still put on a fantastic show. His first-round matchup with Juan Soto went to a double-swing off that the Washington Nationals star won 31-28.
Ohtani also tossed one scoreless inning on the mound and went 0-for-2 as the designated hitter in Tuesday's All-Star Game.
Even though year-to-year performance can be difficult to predict, it seems unlikely that Ohtani won't be invited to the All-Star Game many more times in his career.
The Japanese sensation leads MLB with 33 homers, four triples and 210 total bases. He ranks first in the AL with a .698 slugging percentage, in addition to having a 3.49 ERA and 87 strikeouts in 67 innings as a pitcher.