Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani had plenty of doubters, but after a week in the majors he’s looking as good as advertised.
The Los Angeles Angels were ecstatic when they signed two-way star Shohei Ohtani. He’s been called the Japanese Babe Ruth, but he struggled in spring training, leading some to question whether he was worth the hype. He served up home runs left and right, and many scouts thought he couldn’t handle big-league pitching. He’s proven them all wrong so far in the regular season.
On the mound, the righty flashed elite fastball velocity and a nasty splitter. Ohtani has also mashed at the plate. Last night, he bashed a homer for the third game in a row.
Ohtani has adapted to MLB pitching quickly and looks like a bona fide star. With that said, it will be interesting to see him play over a full season. Will he last as a hitter? Will he be able to hold up physically under his current work rate? The Angels may want to develop him as a full-time ace of the staff, and worry about hitting less.
Ohtani’s going to pitch only once a week, which will save his arm in the long run. With that said, his stuff may be even sharper considering he gets more rest between starts. The Angels will definitely let him hit as long as he continues to be productive. This is a great storyline not just for LA, but for baseball as a whole. Ohtani is a once-in-a-generation player, just like Mike Trout. It’ll be extremely important for the Halos to make the most out of this window of contention with these players.
The slugger is hitting .389 with three home runs and seven RBIs in only 19 plate appearances. If that doesn’t get your attention, nothing will. Granted, it’s a very small sample size, but it still showcases the tools he has at the plate. Just like on the mound, he has shown what type of player he can be: a superstar. It’s going to be a really intriguing storyline to watch throughout the season.
Overall, the Angels are getting everything they asked for when they signed Ohtani. He’s revitalized this franchise, and has put them on the map. LA has nabbed a superstar in the making, and there is nothing that can stop him. The play and the ability of this guy was well worth the hype. The Japanese Babe Ruth indeed.