Ohtani, ranked third in majors with 19 homers, will join a squad of eight in a timed bracket-style tournament on July 12 from Coors Field in Denver, where thin air at high altitudes produces long homers. Ohtani, who won the Nippon Professional Baseball Home Run Derby and was named his 2016 All-Star Game MVP, will be the first Japanese-born player to compete in Major League Baseball’s Home Run Derby. He will also be the first player to do so after making at least one pitcher start.
In the first 11 weeks of the season, Ohtani, 26, is one of eight qualified hitters with an OPS above .950 and one of 23 pitchers who have made at least 10 starts and have a lower ERA. 2.90. The only players who have scored more home runs are Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Fernando Tatis Jr., who have each accumulated 22.
Ohtani has wowed players with majestic batting practice streaks since entering the majors in 2018, and this year his power has reached another level. Ohtani ranks first in barrels per plate appearance, fifth in average home run distance and fifth in average exit speed.