Angels News: Joe Maddon Says Shohei Ohtani Is On A ‘Different Level’
Shohei Ohtani, 2021 Season
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani is leaving fans and the entire organization in awe of his abilities this season. He’s batted in 20 runs in 106 plate appearances and has allowed just five earned runs in 13.2 innings pitched. He is batting .263 at the plate and has a batting average against of just .130 on the mound.

With each outing, Ohtani shows why he was one of the most coveted international prospects in a very long time, and why the Angels were so fortunate to get him. Manager Joe Maddon is one of those people that understands that fortune, as he has let Ohtani play his game while being very complementary of him the whole time.

He recently compared Ohtani to another great pitcher he worked with during his time with the Chicago Cubs, while adding the fact that he has dominated at the plate as well, according to Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic:

“This is exactly the stuff I’ve seen in Chicago with (Yu) Darvish,” Maddon said. “They’re just on a different level, with their ability to throw a baseball and how it feels in their hand and what they’re able to do.

“It’s really very similar to the point where you can pick up a pitch and Shohei can take it out to the bullpen before the game and feel good about it. He’s that much of an athlete, and he can take it into the game, which I’ve seen Yu do in the past also. So it’s incredible, man.”

If not for Mike Trout playing one of the best months of his storied career, there is a legitimate argument to be made that Ohtani is an MVP candidate. He has certainly proved his value on both sides of the ball, and keeping this level of play up would lead to unprecedented numbers at the end of the season.

Of course, with Ohtani, it’s just about staying healthy. He’s clearly one of the most talented players in all of baseball, it’s just about remaining consistent and available over the course of a 162-game season. Maddon is clearly of the belief that he’s capable of doing so.

Maddon happy with Anthony Rendon, Jared Walsh’s progress

Beyond Maddon being happy with Ohtani’s work, he’s also excited about what Anthony Rendon and Jared Walsh have done behind Trout in the lineup. They are finally providing the support for baseball’s best player, and Maddon said it’s a scary sight when all of those players are in a rhythm.

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