Los Angeles Angels two-way talent Shohei Ohtani was listed on the All-Star ballot as a designated hitter as Major League Baseball released the fan ballot for each league on Wednesday.
Ohtani, one of nine Angels players on the ballot, could either be voted in by fans as a designated hitter or be picked as a pitcher for the American League squad through player balloting and selections made by the commissioner’s office.
Ohtani “is a special player. There’s no doubt that he’s contributing to our team at a high level,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia was quoted as saying on MLB. com before Wednesday night’s game against the Detroit Tigers.
“I know it would be a great honor for a lot of guys on our team who are having great years, and certainly Shohei is one of them.”
Should he win a roster spot for the July 17 game at Nationals Park, Ohtani will become the fourth Japanese major league player to be named All-Star following Ichiro Suzuki (Seattle Mariners), Hideki Matsui (New York Yankees) and Kosuke Fukudome (Chicago Cubs).
Fan voting begins at noon on June 1 and ends July 5 at 11:59 p.m. E.T. MLB has yet to release the specifics on when and how the winners will be announced.
(Rookie phenom Shohei Ohtani is one of nine Angels players on the All-Star ballot.)