Back in late 2017, the Los Angeles Angels landed one of the most heavily recruited prospects in baseball history, Shohei Ohtani. The 23-year-old from Oshu, Japan had been playing for Hokkaido Nippon Fighters while receiving heavy praise for both his pitching and hitting abilities. Ohtani has the ability to consistently throw a 3-digit-fastballs along with an absolutely wicked change up. As if that is not enough he is also a bonafide dinger MACHINE.
Since Ohtani’s debut on March 29th, he has 13 IP as a starter for the Angels and 18 AB as their designated hitter. Those 18 at bats include 7 hits, 7 RBI’s, 3 home runs, and 4 runs scored with a batting average of .389. One might say that’s not too bad for a rookie through his first 4 games hitting. This however is no ordinary rookie, because while his batting statistics are quite remarkable already, his pitching stats are even better. In 2 starts he has 2 wins, one of which included a perfect game through 7 innings against Oakland. In those 2 wins he has 2.08 ERA (via mlb.com) and 18 strikeouts. As of right now this kid seems unstoppable.
While it is still very early in his career, it seems as though the hype this Japanese phenom received was very much deserved. As he continues to develop through his career, I believe it is safe to say he will only get better, which is a scary sight for teams not named the Angels. Time will only tell, but as of right now Shohei Ohtani seems to have potential to be of Baseballs All Time greats.
Picture via deadspin.com