Shohei Ohtani will win MVP and should be a unanimous choice if he keeps up this level of play. Regardless of how the Angels finish the season, Ohtani is proving to be one of the most unique baseball talents we have ever seen. His energetic style of play is just great for the game of baseball.
Ohtani is finally healthy, and you could easily see it in his play. As a two-way phenom, weíve never gotten to see a full season of Ohtani at the plate and on the mound. An elbow injury derailed his rookie year in 2018. As a result, he was limited to just batting all of 2019 and most of 2020 but was still dealing with an elbow and knee issue.†
Weíve seen flashes of what he could do as a hitter and pitcher. However, it’s nothing like what weíre witnessing this season. Nonetheless, A healthy Shohei Ohtani is just good for baseball, plain and simple.
The two-way Japanese superstar is showing out to start the season and is an early favorite to be this seasonís most valuable player.
SHO-Time in Anaheim
Thereís a lot of excitement within the sport of baseball. Players like Ronald Acuna and Fernando Tatis make the sport fun to watch. However, there is just a different type of energy that Ohtani brings to the game.
Ohtani has a game this season where he pitched a 100 mile per hour fastball and hit a ball 115 miles per hour over 450 feet in the same inning. In Addition, he has a game where he pitched seven innings of one-run baseball and then finished the game in the right field to remain in the lineup.
Stuff like this is absolutely unheard of in professional baseball.
Ohtani is electric on the base path. As a result, heís always looking to take the extra base and does so with his elite speed. He wants to turn doubles into triples and any routine ground ball into an infield hit.
Ohtani is Dangerous at the Plate
Ohtani hits the ball as hard as anybody else in baseball. He usually swings with authority, and the ball goes a long way when he connects.†
According to Statcast, Ohtani has the highest exit velocity on a hit this season. He hit a double that traveled 119 miles per hour off his bat.
Ohtani leads all of baseball in home runs with 14, and heís top five in slugging percentage and runs batted in. Ohtani is a nice compliment to Mike Trout. The combination of power and speed these two possess make the middle of the Angelsí batting order extremely dangerous.
Ohtani isn’t just a power hitter. He isnít afraid to take what the pitcher and the defense give him. If the pitcher is constantly pitching Ohtani away, he will sit back and drive that pitch the other way.†
Ohtani will win MVP if he keeps up this level of production. His bat is very beneficial to the Angelsí success. Ohtani is going to do even more now that Mike Trout is headed to the injured list.
Ohtani isnít just a one-dimensional two-way star. His abilities on the mound nearly match what heís able to do at the plate.
Just as Dominant on the Mound
Ohtani has the ability to dominate opposing hitters just as he does opposing pitchers. Heís pitched in five games this season and has an earned run average of only 2.10.
Ohtani does have a command issue at times, and that causes him to walk some batters. He has given up 20 walks in 25 innings pitched. However, he also has 40 strikeouts and knows how to get out of jams.†
Heís only given up 11 hits in those five starts. If he gets his command right, he will be absolutely untouchable. Nonetheless, it’s been getting better recently, and thatís evident in his last start.
Ohtani pitched a gem in his start against the Houston Astros. He pitched seven innings, gave up one run, only walked one batter, and struck out ten batters. He also finished that game in the outfield because his bat is so valuable to the Angelsí lineup.
Ohtani only threw 88 pitches against Houston and completed seven innings. He did this against one of the best offenses in the entire league. All the Astros want to do is hit, and Ohtani had them looking absolutely confused at the plate.
Ohtani will win MVP if he continues to produce on the mound like heís been doing his last few starts. Heís unhittable when he has command on all of his pitches.
Best Pitch in Baseball?
We have all seen Ohtani touch triple digits with his fastball. However, that is not his best pitch. Ohtaniís splitter has made some of the best hitters in the league produce some pretty ugly swings.
Ohtani is most effective on the mound when he gets ahead of the count with his fastball and then fools batters with his splitter. As a result, his splitter is arguably the most unhittable pitch in all of baseball, and itís been that way since he entered the league.†
Hitters cannot touch it, and they usually know itís coming. If itís a two-strike count, Ohtani is looking for a strikeout, and the splitter is what heís going to use.
Heís even added velocity to that pitch, His average splitter is reaching close to 90 miles per hour.
Ohtani is on another level this season, and itís great for baseball to see him healthy and dominating.
Ohtani will win MVP, and it shouldnít be close if heís able to complete a full season on the mound and at the plate. Thereís nobody else in baseball doing what heís doing. Heís a generational talent, and itís fun to watch.†