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Shohei Ohtani continues to astound

In the world of baseball, there exists an individual who continues to defy expectations and accomplish astonishing feats. That person is none other than Shohei Ohtani, a 28-year-old player for the Los Angeles Angels. On Tuesday night in Anaheim, Ohtani delivered one of his most remarkable performances yet, showcasing his prowess both as a batter and a pitcher in the Angels’ 4-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox.


Let’s start with his hitting performance: Ohtani went 3-for-3, smashing two home runs and driving in two runs while also drawing a walk. As for his pitching skills, he threw an impressive 6.1 innings, allowing only four hits and one earned run while striking out ten opposing batters. This game marked the first time Ohtani hit multiple home runs while serving as the starting pitcher, although it is worth noting that his bat has consistently supported his pitching throughout the season, with a batting average of .407 in games he has pitched.

What we are witnessing is truly extraordinary. Shohei Ohtani is currently excelling in two distinct areas simultaneously. He is not only considered the best hitter in baseball but also the most challenging pitcher to hit against.

Let’s delve into his hitting achievements. Ohtani leads Major League Baseball in multiple categories, including home runs (28), runs batted in (64), slugging percentage (.654), on-base plus slugging percentage (1.039), extra-base hits (47), and total bases (200). On the other hand, his pitching prowess is equally impressive. Ohtani boasts the lowest opponent batting average (.180) among all qualified pitchers, while also ranking third in strikeouts (127) and third in average fastball velocity (97.1 mph).

To further highlight Ohtani’s dominance, he has already tied an Angels record with 13 home runs this month. If he maintains this pace, he could potentially reach 56 home runs by the end of the season, a figure that would put him in the company of legendary players like Ken Griffey Jr. and Hack Wilson.

While his hitting statistics and awe-inspiring homers often steal the spotlight, it is crucial not to underestimate Ohtani’s dominance on the mound. Since the start of last season, he has recorded 16 games with 10 or more strikeouts, surpassing every other MLB pitcher in this regard.

In summary, imagine combining the talents of Mickey Mantle, one of the greatest hitters in baseball history, and Justin Verlander, a dominant pitcher in his prime. That is the caliber of player we are witnessing in Shohei Ohtani during the first half of the 2023 season. When we project his full-season stats, they are nothing short of remarkable: a batting average of .304, an on-base percentage of .386, a slugging percentage of .654, 186 hits, 30 doubles, 8 triples, 56 home runs, 128 runs batted in, 110 runs scored, and 22 stolen bases. On the pitching side, he is projected to make 32 starts, pitch 190.2 innings, win 14 games, maintain an ERA of 3.02, allow 1.03 walks and hits per inning pitched, and strike out 254 batters.


As a sports journalist, covering Shohei Ohtani presents a unique challenge. His frequent displays of greatness leave me questioning whether I should write about him again, or save his latest achievements for a more comprehensive story when he inevitably breaks another record. These are the kinds of questions I find myself pondering on a weekly basis. However, in the end, I consistently choose to chronicle his remarkable exploits.

Why? Because one day, I want to be able to recount to my future grandchildren the awe-inspiring moments I witnessed while watching this extraordinary athlete. It is for their sake that I strive to be fully present during Ohtani’s reign, ensuring that I never become desensitized to his extraordinary talent.

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