If Baseball was a Player...
By: Abby Decker
Edited By: Kylie Augis
Shohei Ohtani is a name that is being talked about daily, and a name that will be in the history books. Ohtani is arguably one of the best pitchers and hitters in the league currently and maybe will be one of the best in history. Some have said that he is the next Babe Ruth. Let’s take a look at why Ohtani is a big name, both offensively and defensively.
For some background context, in 2021 he was the AL MVP. He was great on the mound and a powerful hitter. In the 2022 season, it was the opposite; he was stronger on the mound, but still very talented with hitting. The 2023 season leaves loads of potential, and we have already seen where he is taking it.
In specific instances, Ohtani had a very strong performance, almost hitting a complete cycle against the Baltimore Orioles. He actually became the first starting pitcher to reach base five times. He managed to hit a single twice, got walked, then hit a triple and a home run. This was the first time a pitcher has done that since Mel Stottlemyre did the same thing against the Washington Senators on September 26, 1964.
Courtesy of Frank Franklin II / Associated Press
As for his defensive side, this year Ohtani had an opponent batting average of .092, which is the lowest through five starts since the mound itself was moved to 60 feet, six inches in 1893. Going back to last year, Ohtani has not allowed more than three hits in nine consecutive starts. This is the second-longest streak in history, behind Jacob deGrom who did this with 10 consecutive starts. Continuing on with breaking records, he is the first MLB pitcher to have more hits at the plate than he allowed over a 3-start span. At the plate, he had 4 hits, but on the mound, he only allowed 3 hits. The last time this happened was when Schoolboy Rowe did it between July 28 and August 7, 1934.
Courtesy of Kiyoshi Mio/USA Today Sports
Now that everyone has witnessed this man’s talent, the real question is where will he go next and how much will he get paid? After this season, Ohtani will be marked as a free agent. Being both talented at the mound and on the plate makes it very difficult to decide what his value is salary-wise. Many sources are reporting that it could be upwards of $600 million dollars, but the real questions are, what teams are willing to pay that much, and where will he end up?