Ohtani says he's not good enough for Home Run Derby yet
Los Angeles Angels rookie sensation Shohei Ohtani insisted he was not yet ready to be part of the Home Run Derby.
Ohtani is batting .321 with six home runs and a .619 slugging percentage through a mere 84 at-bats this season.
That and his popularity worldwide has ignited a discussion on whether the 23-year-old deserves a spot in the Home Run Derby during All-Star weekend.
Ohtani was the first to say probably not, despite the fact he won the Nippon Baseball League Home Run Derby in 2016.
"I don't think I'm at that level yet," Ohtani said Sunday, via ESPN. "I'm honoured to be in that conversation."
The pitcher/designated hitter is hitting a home run every 14 at-bats this season. That is the 14th highest rate in baseball, according to teamrankings.com.
His prodigious power also saw him smack a home run an estimated 519 feet in batting practice this weekend.
However, after seeing Aaron Judge take over the baseball world during the 2017 All-Star Home Run Derby, it makes complete sense for MLB to include him in the proceedings.
If he is selected, manager Mike Scioscia will not stand in his way.
"That's a player's decision," Scioscia said.
"I'm sure there's going to be a lot of things that come into what a player decides, but it's always been the prerogative of a player if he wants to participate in things like that."
With the game in Washington D.C. this year, Bryce Harper may be included and Judge is likely to defend his title.