He may not have won the Home Run Derby, but Shohei Ohtani still put up a ridiculous number that is sure to turn heads.
As the MLB’s current home run leader by a solid margin, Shohei Ohtani was expected to win Monday’s night Home Run Derby. Instead, the Los Angeles Angels star was eliminated in a first-round swing-off by Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto.
However, even in defeat, Ohtani produced numbers that will make baseball fans gasp.
With his interpreter Ippei Mizuhara catching for him, Ohtani blasted a stupendous six 500-foot long bombs. According to ESPN, it’s the most Derby home runs of that distance since Statcast began tracking the metric in 2016. And it all happened in just one round.
Shohei Ohtani shoves off incredible raw power at HR Derby
Competing in the Derby for the first time, Ohtani displayed the tremendous bat speed and raw power that have turned him into baseball’s premier two-way threat. Tomorrow, he’s expected to both take the mound as the starting pitcher and bat in the leadoff position for the American League All-Star Team.
In case anyone is still in denial, we are officially in the Shotime era. Winning the Derby was always going to be somewhat irrelevant in the bigger picture of what is a historic season for the young Japanese ballplayer.
Plainly, when you’re capable of sending baseballs over 500 feet, seemingly with ease, you’re destined for bigger and better awards than the HR Derby crown.