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Ohtani aims to put bat on display at ASG

Angels' two-way phenom appears on ballot as DH
MLB.com @mi_guardado

ANAHEIM -- Shohei Ohtani is officially listed as a designated hitter on the 2018 MLB All-Star ballot, but his batting statistics represent only half of his body of work with the Angels this season. His unique status as a two-way player makes him one of the most intriguing candidates on the ballot.

VOTE: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

ANAHEIM -- Shohei Ohtani is officially listed as a designated hitter on the 2018 MLB All-Star ballot, but his batting statistics represent only half of his body of work with the Angels this season. His unique status as a two-way player makes him one of the most intriguing candidates on the ballot.

VOTE: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

"He's a special player," manager Mike Scioscia said. "There is no doubt he's contributing to our team at a high level. ... I know it would be a great honor. A lot of guys on our team are having great years, and certainly Shohei is one of them."

Online voting for the Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot is now open, allowing fans to weigh in on who they want to represent their teams at the All-Star Game on July 17 at Nationals Park. The Angels figure to have at least one starter on the American League squad, as superstar center fielder Mike Trout has been selected to six consecutive All-Star games and should be a lock again this year.

Ohtani has a case to join him in Washington, D.C., as well. The 23-year-old rookie phenom entered Friday batting .291 with a .929 OPS and six home runs in 30 games as a left-handed hitter. Ohtani's fiercest competition from other American League DHs will likely come from the Red Sox's J.D. Martinez (.317 with a 1.030 OPS and 18 homers) and the Yankees' Giancarlo Stanton (.248 with a .793 OPS and 11 homers), though Ohtani's two-way endeavor and global fanbase could help give him an edge in the balloting.

Should Ohtani not be voted in by the fans, he could still be selected as a pitcher through the players' vote. In eight starts on the mound, Ohtani has logged a 3.18 ERA with 57 strikeouts over 45 1/3 innings.

Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons has never been named to an All-Star team in his career, but he should also be in the conversation this year. Simmons is in the midst of his best season to date, batting .337 with an .875 OPS while supplying his usual Gold Glove Award defense, though his competitors will include the Indians' Francisco Lindor and the Orioles' Manny Machado, among others.

Fans may cast votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on computers, tablets and smartphones -- exclusively online using the 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot until Thursday, July 5, at 11:59 p.m. ET. On smartphones and tablets, fans can also access the ballot via the MLB At Bat and MLB Ballpark mobile apps. Each fan can vote up to five times in any 24-hour period, for a maximum of 35 ballots cast.

Following the announcement of this year's All-Star starters, reserves and pitchers, fans should return to MLB.com and cast their 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Final Vote for the final player on each league's roster. Then on Tuesday, July 17, while watching the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, fans may visit MLB.com to submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet with the 2018 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.

The 89th Midsummer Classic, at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 180 countries. FOX Deportes will provide Spanish-language coverage in the United States, while ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, please visit AllStarGame.com and follow @MLB and @AllStarGame on social media.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Los Angeles Angels, Shohei Ohtani