Since making his MLB debut in 2018, Shohei Ohtani has not only established himself as one of the best players in all of baseball, but a true once-in-a-generation talent.
Ohtani is the total package in every respect as he has 40-plus home run potential and a ridiculous arsenal of pitches. The 28-year-old had all of his tools on display last season as he led the league in multiple categories en route to winning the American League MVP Award.
Ohtani seemingly is getting better with each game and will once again be in the conversation for the honor this year. While he posted better numbers at the plate last season, the two-way star has fared better on the mound in 2022.
Mike Trout, who knows a thing or two about winning MVP awards, believes Ohtani is an even better pitcher than hitter, via the “Baseball Tonight with Buster Olney” podcast:
“It’s pretty impressive what he’s doing, obviously at the plate and on the mound. But, what he’s doing on the mound, it’s pretty incredible.”
“We played the Mariners the other day, and he threw, like, five different-shaped sliders. It was just incredible. Now he’s throwing that sinker at 100 with 20 inches of horizontal break. You keep adding pitches like that to that arsenal; he’s going to be tough to hit. He’s unbelievable. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
As Trout noted, Ohtani had all of his pitches working against the Seattle Mariners last week as he tossed seven scoreless innings and collected eight strikeouts.
Ohtani is 13-8 with a 2.43 ERA, 2.44 FIP and 1.04 WHIP in 148 innings pitched this season (25 starts). He’s also batting .270/.358/.534 with 27 doubles, six triples, 34 home runs, 89 RBI and 11 stolen bases in 612 plate appearances (144 games).
Angels injury update: Rendon still hasn’t faced live pitching
Anthony Rendon has maintained hope he will be able to return before the end of the regular season, but with only 13 games remaining, time is running out.
Rendon still hasn’t faced live pitching since undergoing wrist surgery in June and would need to serve a five-game suspension for his role in a brawl with the Seattle Mariners earlier this season.