Angels Two-Way Star Shohei Ohtani to Compete in Home Run Derby

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Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani will compete in MLB's upcoming Home Run Derby on July 12 at Coors Field, the league announced Friday. 

Ohtani will be the first Japanese-born player to compete in the Derby and also the first pitcher to take part in the competition. 

The pitcher/designated hitter is currently third in the Majors in homers (19) and tenth in RBIs (47). At the plate, the 26-year-old Ohtani is hitting .270, and he has tallied 10 steals as well.

The Derby will take place on July 12, the day before the All-Star Game at Coors Field. Ohtani could also pitch in the exhibition the next night as he currently leads all American League designated hitters in the first fan-vote returns. 

Among other recent successes at either the plate on or on the mound, Ohtani recently helped stop the Angels' three-game losing streak, tossing six innings and allowing only one run on five hits in a 7-5 victory over the Tigers. The win over Detroit marked the first time since 2019 that Angel Stadium was open to full capacity. 

"It definitely felt good pitching in front of a lot of people," Ohtani said through interpreter Ippei Mizuhara. "It gives me energy and confidence on the mound and at the plate. And the win was obviously huge. We had been playing well, winning six in a row going into Oakland and we unfortunately got swept. But if we keep playing like we did during the winning streak, I feel like we could do a lot of good things."

As a pitcher, Ohtani has a team-leading 2.70 ERA this season and has 73 strikeouts in 53.1 innings of work.

The rest of the Home Run Derby field has not yet been announced. 

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