At this point, playing an All-Star Game without Los Angeles Angels phenom Shohei Ohtani should be out of the question.
Year after year, he does enough to be a starter for the American League team, but this year, he has taken his game to another level.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Ohtani is not only the leading vote-getter at the designated hitter position, but he is doing so with a huge lead over the second-placed hitter, Brandon Belt.
An Angels insider, Sam Blum of The Athletic, made a joke about Ohtani’s All-Star chances.
Starting to think there's a chance Shohei Ohtani makes the AL All-Star team. pic.twitter.com/XVUgV0h3OV
— Sam Blum (@SamBlum3) June 20, 2023
There you have the top three vote-getters at the DH spot: Robbie Grossman is third with just over 270,000, Belt is second just short of 500,000, and Ohtani has a few laps on both with almost 1,900,000 votes.
Only Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr., with more than 2,200,000, has more votes than Ohtani.
Ohtani was probably MLB’s most popular player before the season started, but that popularity rose even more with his World Baseball Classic performance.
Now, Ohtani is a well-known figure even in countries in which baseball isn’t that popular.
Nobody is bigger than the sport, but Ohtani is certainly the best and most unique athlete ever to step on a baseball field.
He has done more than enough to be the starter at the DH spot, with a .300/.384/.632 line and 24 home runs already.
It has been probably his finest offensive season.
On the other hand, he has enough merits to pitch in the All-Star Game, with a 3.29 ERA in 82 innings.
He has been the Angels’ best hitter and pitcher at the same time.
He is a treasure for baseball.NEXT: Photo Shows A Young Shohei Ohtani With His Dad