MLB

Ohtani Will Win MVP This Season if He’s Healthy

May 16, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) gets set to bat during the first inning agains the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

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, we’ve 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. 

We’ve seen flashes of what he could do as a hitter and pitcher. However, it’s nothing like what we’re 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 season’s most valuable player. 

SHO-Time in Anaheim

May 19, 2021; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels right fielder Shohei Ohtani (17) sprints to first base on a bunt for a hit in the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

There’s 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, he’s 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

May 18, 2021; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) hits a solo home run against the Cleveland Indians in the first inning at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

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 he’s 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 Angels’ batting order extremely dangerous.

Ohtani isn’t just a power hitter. He isn’t 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 Angels’ success. Ohtani is going to do even more now that Mike Trout is headed to the injured list.

Ohtani isn’t just a one-dimensional two-way star. His abilities on the mound nearly match what he’s able to do at the plate.

Just as Dominant on the Mound

May 11, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) pitches against the Houston Astros in the fourth inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Ohtani has the ability to dominate opposing hitters just as he does opposing pitchers. He’s 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. 

He’s 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 that’s 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 Angels’ 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 he’s been doing his last few starts. He’s unhittable when he has command on all of his pitches. 

Best Pitch in Baseball?

May 19, 2021; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) throws a pitch in the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
 Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

We have all seen Ohtani touch triple digits with his fastball. However, that is not his best pitch. Ohtani’s 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 it’s been that way since he entered the league. 

Hitters cannot touch it, and they usually know it’s coming. If it’s a two-strike count, Ohtani is looking for a strikeout, and the splitter is what he’s going to use.

He’s 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 it’s great for baseball to see him healthy and dominating.

Ohtani will win MVP, and it shouldn’t be close if he’s able to complete a full season on the mound and at the plate. There’s nobody else in baseball doing what he’s doing. He’s a generational talent, and it’s fun to watch. 

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