Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels is one of the biggest names in all professional sports right now. Ohtani is a versatile player that both pitches and hits, dominating almost every other player in the MLB.
Ohtani had a remarkable 2021 season when he was the unanimous MVP. While no one thought he could top that extraordinary season, Ohtani proved everyone wrong and is continuing to blow everyone out of the water. As a batter, he is hitting .310 with 40 home runs.
As of last week, Ohtani leads the Majors in home runs, triples, walks, on base percentage, slugging percentage, total bases, and OPS.
A man of many firsts, Ohtani is continuously shattering records. Last Thursday, Ohtani hit his 40th homer of the season, becoming the first starting pitcher in almost six decades to hit a homer and steal a base in the same game.
Furthermore, entering last week’s game in Seattle, he had reached base in 23 of his last 34 plate appearances, a stretch of on-base success that hasn’t been seen in the Majors in about two years. To add to his list of offensive accolades, his 192 OPS+ is one of the best hitting seasons in the American League in the last 50 years.
Ohtani is a force to reckon with on defense as well. As a pitcher, he has an ERA of 3.32, which is one of the best in the 2023 MLB season. According to his stats, Ohtani is the hardest pitcher to hit in baseball: he’s averaging just six hits allowed per nine innings. On the mound, he’s third in the AL in strikeouts with 132 and averaging 12 Ks a game.
Ohtani entered last Thursday needing to throw nine innings across his final two starts to become the first player in MLB history to qualify among the league leaders as a pitcher and hitter. After throwing eight scoreless innings, he will need to pitch just one more inning in his final start of the season on Tuesday to put the cherry on top of his unbelievably historic season.
In the most recent MLB MVP poll, Ohtani is the once again the unanimous favorite in both leagues. The two-way superstar is favored to win his second American League MVP Award, provoking the question, is Shohei Ohtani the Greatest of All Time?
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