Let’s start getting the MVP chants going because Shohei Ohtani is playing out of his mind! The two-way Japanese import has been setting the record books on fire this season. Many people doubted him when he was a rookie in 2018 and how he would fit in today’s game. But he sure has silenced all of those critics this year.
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Shohei Ohtani Chasing MVP Favorite Guerrero Jr.
Ohtani has been the only bright spot for the Angels this year since Mike Trout suffered a calf injury back in May. Setting the AL on fire he has shot himself into the MVP race and currently has the second-best odds to win the award, behind Toronto Blue Jays young stud Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Last night at Yankee Stadium, Ohtani became the first player in the MLB this year to crack 28 home runs and regained the lead for most home runs over Vlad Guerrero Jr. The month of June has been great for him as well, he tied Mike Trout for most home runs in a given month with 13, and he might break it tonight as the Angels look to take the series against the Yankees.
Not to mention that one of his blasts was the hardest hit in Angels history with a whopping 117 mph exit velocity. His power is just uncanny and is so underrated.
His dominance at the plate this season is unprecedented. He has already set the Angels record for fastest player to reach 25 home runs in a single season; he did that in only 77 games. He also is the first player since Babe Ruth in AL history to reach 25+ home runs, 10+ stolen bases, and 75+ pitching strikeouts. He currently leads the AL in home runs, triples, and slugging percentage. That is simply just incredible, from a PITCHER.
Speaking of pitching, his stats on the mound are just as great as they are at the plate. He has started 11 games thus far with a 3-1 record on the season. He has a 2.58 which is well below the MLB average. Opponents only have a .188 batting average when facing Ohtani, oh and he also can reach 100 mph on a fastball with ease.
What he is doing at the plate and mound is special. To put his greatness into a bit of perspective, he currently has 49 extra-base hits on 297 plate appearances. As a pitcher, he has only allowed 39 hits on 284 plate appearances. That is just an absurd stat that I think is a bit overlooked because nobody has ever seen this type of player before. Ohtani is a talent that is straight out of a video game, nobody is on his level and probably won’t be for a long time.
Wrapping Things Up
Aside from all of the incredible stats that he has this season, his teammates and manager really love how Shohei plays the game. Even playing in a foreign country to him, Ohtani is still making the most of the opportunity and enjoying every minute of it. Joe Maddon, the Angels skipper, said “Ohtani is what baseball needs as a player and example. He is always ready to play and locked in the moment. I really enjoy watching him enjoy the sport of baseball.”
Shohei is a generational talent that will change how the game is played. Babe Ruth was the last of the great two-way players and now that we get to see someone even remotely close to that is just incredible and a blessing to bear witness to. He is well on his way to having one of the best careers in MLB history and could win multiple MVP awards. This year could just be the breaking point of what we can expect to see from this two-way player.