The Los Angeles Angels kicked off a four-game series against the New York Yankees in the Bronx on Monday night, and it didn't take long for Angels two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani to make his presence known to the New York crowd. In his first at-bat, Ohtani hit his 26th home run of the season off an 80.3 mph curveball from Yankees right-hander Michael King. Take a look:
Not only was that Ohtani's first home run at Yankee Stadium, but it was his first hit. He had previously been 0-for-9 in his career at Yankee Stadium. The homer traveled a sizzling 117.2 mph off the bat and carried 416 feet.
He now has five home runs with a 115+ mph exit velocity this season, which is the most in MLB. It's also the 20th homer that Ohtani has hit for 400 feet or more this season. Earlier this month, Ohtani recorded the longest hit home run of his career; a two-run home run that went a projected 470 feet.
Furthermore, Ohtani's 26th homer ties for the MLB lead with Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. The leaderboard has Ohtani and Guerrero up top with Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. not far behind with 25 homers. The Nationals' Kyle Schwarber has been on a tear as of late, and has 24 homers.
Monday night's home run also comes just a day after Ohtani hit home run No. 25 on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Rays. That home run made Ohtani the fastest Angels hitter ever to reach 25 home runs in a season (77 team games). He was also a single shy of the cycle.
Ohtani came into play against the Yankees hitting .277/.363/.668 (172 OPS+) with 59 RBI and 11 stolen bases. Now, Ohtani has racked up nine home runs and 11 runs scored over the past 12 games.
Ohtani, who turns 27 on July 5, leads all AL designated hitters in this year's All-Star voting. He will also compete in this year's Home Run Derby alongside defending champion and New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso, Baltimore Orioles first baseman Trey Mancini and the hometown competitor Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story.
The 2021 Home Run Derby is scheduled for Monday, July 12, while the All-Star Game is Tuesday, July 13. Both events will take place at Denver's Coors Field.