Shohei Ohtani, a member of the Los Angeles Angels of the MLB, is a big leaker who plays for Hanamaki Higashi High School Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters (2013 – 2017) and since 2018 for the Los Angeles Angels.
He has been a mainstay in both fielding and pitching throughout his career. He was an ace and a number four in high school, and when he joined the Nippon Ham Fighters, manager Hideki Kuriyama and the team allowed him to try his hand at a two-way game, which is extremely rare in professional baseball history.
“In the past, many critics have criticized him for destroying Otani’s talent, and even Darvish expressed doubts about Shohei’s two-pronged approach.
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In MLB, there are a few fielders who can throw fastballs and pitchers who are good at hitting, but I’ve never seen a player like Ohtani who can start as a full-fledged rotation pitcher and play every day as a regular fielder. Babe Ruth, the undisputed homerun king, was also a starting pitcher for about six years after joining the team, and Otani is often referred to as “the second coming of Babe Ruth.
＜Records that have been compared to Babe Ruth’s.>
- Player who pitched at least 3 games in a season in the 4th place
- Double-digit home runs & multiple wins
- Pitches in 10 or more games & hits 10 home runs
Japanese Major Leaguer’s First Year: Breaking the Home Run Record
In his first year in the majors, Otani hit 22 home runs. This is a record that breaks the Japanese major league home run record of 18 held by Kenji Johjima, and is a new record that surpasses Hideki Matsui, Norihito Iguchi, and Kenji Johjima.
He also became the first player in major league history to reach 10 plate appearances, hit 20 home runs, and steal 10 bases. As a rookie, Shohei has rewritten numerous records.
First time ever: Shohei’s name appears twice
In the 2021 All-Star Game, he will achieve a number of feats
- First home run derby appearance in Japanese history
- First home run derby appearance by a pitcher in history
- First Japanese starting lineup since Ichiro
- First Japanese starter since Hideo Nomo
- First time in Major League history to start both pitchers and batters (DH and pitcher)
- Second starting pitcher in All-Star Game history to go 100 miles
- First Japanese pitcher in history to win a game as a starter
The list of starting members was unusual in that there were two names of the same player on the list. He was already hitting 120 km/h in Little League, so it was only natural for him to join the MLB. He’s friend said that even when he went bowling with his friends, he would never put his fingers in the holes of the bowling balls and would take good care of his hands.