Legends On Deck

Two-Way Player, Shohei Ohtani, Showing His Greatness

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In 2018, Shohei Ohtani made his American Baseball debut and the two-way player showed us all that the hype was real as he slammed 22 home runs in 104 games while also winning four games in 10 starts with teams batting just .203 against him. For his efforts, he was able to secure the Rookie of the Year award.

The next season, Ohtani’s arm was shut down due to a Right Elbow UCL injury, but he was still able to put up decent numbers with the bat, sending 18 balls over the wall in 106 games, while nearly matching his 2018 RBI totals (61) with 62 in 2019.

The 2020 season, as we all know it, was cut short due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, but it still allowed the Japanese star to get back on the mound, even if it was just for two games. With the stick, he did hit seven home runs in 44 games, but batted just .190, his lowest output in his young MLB career.

But 2021, as everyone in the MLB and baseball world hoped would be the year for a comeback season for the whole league, it surely has been a great start to Ohtani’s season and ongoing career.

Entering Sunday’s game, Ohtani has rebounded in 2021 on the mound, posting a 3-1 record through 11 games thus far, with a 2.58 ERA and 82 strikeouts in 59.1 innings pitched. Ohtani has nearly matched his totals from his debut season of 2018, but with half a season to go, he has the opportunity to show how much better he will be.

Since the beginning of the month, Ohtani has hit safely in 13 of the 21 games in June, while hitting nine home runs for the month, besting his seven in May and eight in April. And Sunday against the Rays, he did put on a clinic, by just missing the cycle, and finishing 3 for 4, with a double, triple and home run, while fueling an Angels comeback victory.

Even though the Angels are 37-40 on the season and 10.5 games out of first, Ohtani seems to be one bright spot for an organization hoping to turn their losing seasons around and finally bring some winning baseball to the Angels fan base.

Ohtani is among the league leaders in home runs (25), RBIs (59), Triples (4), SLG (.668) and so far is the top vote getter for the DH spot on the 2021 American League All Star Team. The selection would be his first in his career and we are sure, many more to come.

 

 

David Conde
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