Shohei Ohtani on 2022 MLB Home Run Derby: 'I Definitely Want to Participate Again'

Adam WellsJuly 14, 2021

American League's Shohei Ohtani, of the Los Angeles Angeles, hits during the first round of the MLB All Star baseball Home Run Derby, Monday, July 12, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

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. 

ESPN @espn

Ohtani ties Soto and we have ANOTHER swing off 🍿 <a href="https://t.co/Q9m00RPXKI">pic.twitter.com/Q9m00RPXKI</a>

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.