Yes, that means that less than 24 hours after he hit the most 500-foot bombs ever recorded in a Home Run Derby, he’ll be both starting on the mound and as the American League Designated Hitter.
Not only that, but he’ll also be batting leadoff.
LA Angels’ superstar Shohei Ohtani starting as a two-way player in the ASG proves how valuable he is.
Shohei Ohtani has been proving he’s the AL MVP so far all season for the LA Angels, and now he gets the chance to prove it in front of everyone.
Ohtani’s been a top ten pitcher in baseball this year, sporting a 4-1 record with a 3.49 ERA. He’s struck out an impressive 11.7 batters per nine innings, and has only allowed 0.8 home runs per nine.
To do this while also leading the league in home runs (33) and slugging percentage (.698) as an offensive player is exactly why he’s starting on both ends.
He deserves it, as the league bent the rules to make this happen due to the All-Star Game being just an exhibition game. In a typical game, the rules would permit him from playing both spots to start, but the league needs Ohtani to be put on as full of a display as possible.
Besides, Ohtani would be at his best as a starter, as opposed to having to bat/baserun for however many innings and then come in and pitch afterwards. He’d be at full strength and ready to be used as a two-way star if he started the game.
Ohtani has batted leadoff before, and shined. He’s not just a power hitter, but a great hitter all-around who’s batting .279 and gets on 36.4% of the time. His blazing speed also fits him as a leadoff hitter.
Ohtani being penciled in those two spots is just a perfect representation of who he is and how much value he brings as a player. Nobody is more valuable in the entire league right now, not even just the AL.