Los Angeles Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani captured a World Baseball Classic title with Team Japan, putting a bow on a very productive offseason for the two-way phenom.
Ohtani saw an unbelievable rise in his social media following, another building block after signing a mega-deal with New Balance in February that’ll last until 2031. He’s a unicorn in the sports world, and his popularity is rapidly growing not only in the United States, but around the globe.
To go alongside his salary in Major League Baseball, Ohtani is quickly becoming one of the most marketable athletes and is head and shoulders above the top earners in the sport, via Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times:
Ohtani is expected to receive an estimated $70 million this year, including $30 million in salary from the Angels and $40 million in endorsements, Sportico reported late Monday night. Max Scherzer ($60.3 million) and Justin Verlander ($44.3 million) were next in line behind Ohtani on Sportico’s list.
The endorsement revenue puts Ohtani “on a level reserved for global soccer and basketball icons,” Sportico reported.
Mike Trout and Ohtani are featured in the same lineup, but they’re in two completely different categories. What Ohtani is able to do on a baseball field hasn’t been seen since the days of Babe Ruth, and even then the talent level brings the debate to a fun level.
With roughly a dozen endorsement partners, Ohtani might be the endorsement king in MLB:
Sportico reported the following endorsement revenue estimates, showing a substantial gap between Ohtani and his peers.
Trout, a three-time American League most valuable player widely regarded as the best player in baseball during the last decade, is expected to make $5 million in endorsements this year. Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees, the 2022 AL MVP, is in line to make $4 million in endorsements this year.
Ohtani is scheduled to become a free agent at the season’s end and is projected to earn a contract upwards of $500 million with ten-plus years attached, also putting him amongst the highest-paid professional athletes of all time.
Angels Shohei Ohtani earns WBC MVP honors
With Team Japan relying on him, Ohtani delivered in multiple ways, posting a .435/.606/.739 slash with eight RBI and a 2-0 record with a 1.86 ERA and one save.
In 9.2 innings, Ohtani flashed his triple-digit fastball with a wipeout slider, logging 11 punchouts and no strikeout was more important than the final out that secured the title when he snapped off a sweeping slider in a full count to get Trout swinging to secure the title.
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