Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani has put his talents on display for all of Major League Baseball, and against teams featuring some of the best top-end prospects, his two-way ability doesn’t cease to amaze.
Heading into play on May 17, Ohtani has posted a 146 wRC+ including nine homers, 29 RBI, and a strikeout rate of 20.1%, which would be a career-low mark. On Monday, his 456-foot blast was his ninth long ball of the season, and it was surely a deciding factor in the Angels’ 9-5 win over the Baltimore Orioles.
His 4-for-5 showing was a double short of the cycle, and in a game he started on the mound, he went on to log seven innings, allowing five earned runs.
Ohtani’s impact on a game from both ends is something is still hard to fathom, and according to Brittany Ghiroli of The Athletic, Orioles manager Brandon Hyde was heavy on praise for the 28-year-old star:
“We’re lucky to have somebody like this in our league and somebody that (has) more ability than anybody and (can) be an MVP candidate on both sides of the ball,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said before the game. “And so (I’ve got) a lot of admiration for him.”
The Orioles have eight players listed in MLB.com’s top 100 prospects, and that is after debuting a number of premier talents this season. Baltimore’s lineup consists of a few veteran bats who have been around other superstars, and their view on Ohtani keeps him in another tier, according to Noah Trister of the L.A. Times:
“He’s a once-in-a-generation player. Once in a lifetime, really,” Orioles infielder Adam Frazier said. “Special guy, and I’m glad to say I can compete against him, because it’s fun. He brings out the best in everyone.”
Frazier has been around San Diego Padres stars Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr., but his comments on Ohtani’s special place in MLB are continuously echoed around the league by coaches and players alike.
Shohei Ohtani passes Babe Ruth in two-way category
The Angels, unfortunately, fell to the Houston Astros on May 7 after Ohtani allowed three runs on six hits and collected seven strikeouts against two walks over six innings pitched. The Astros did all of their damage in the fifth inning, with Martin Maldonado hitting a two-run homer and Yordan Alvarez driving in another run with an RBI single.
Even with the tough-luck defeat, Ohtani was able to set another MLB record. His seven strikeouts against the Astros gave him 507 for his career, which passed Babe Ruth’s total of 488.
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