By Chase Hensing
The Los Angeles Angel’s new super star from Japan, Shohei Ohtani, has taken over the league in the first week of MLB baseball. In Japan, Ohtani put up amazing numbers with over a .300 batting average and twenty homeruns. Many baseball fans are eager to see if he will live up to the hype.
Ohtani is a starting pitcher. He has also hit insanely well in the professional league in Japan, so the Angels are hoping Othani will do the same for them.
His pitching has been phenomenal. In his first start on April 1st, Ohtani pitched six innings allowing three hits and three runs, including a Matt Chapman homer in the second inning. While pulling out the win, he had six strikeouts and one walk. This start was an average start for the young pitcher, but the next start is what has the media buzzing. He was fooling the A’s with his speeds ranging from a 99 mph fastball and changing to a 80 mph changeup. He was pitching a perfect game up to the 7th inning where he finally let up a run and was relieved. Ohtani pitched seven innings while letting up zero runs and having twelve strikeouts. All in all his pitching has been outstanding, but what makes him unique is his amazing batting.
In his first game batting as a DH he had an average game, he went one for five. In his next three games, Ohtani had three homers and drove in seven runs. And over his nineteen plate appearances Ohtani had a batting average of .389, which is also impressive. After his first week of baseball Ohtani had already set himself in a category with the greatest baseball player ever Babe Ruth. Glenelg Freshman David Brown stated, “I think he is a much better pitcher than a batter, I think the batting stats will drop over time but pitching will continue.” Ruth and Ohtani the only pitchers ever to win their first start and hit two homeruns in their two following home games. However, Ohtani made history by hitting his third homerun in his third game. Although Ohtani’s current stats are impressive, it is unlikely that he will be able to keep these numbers going over the course of a four month season. Glenelg Freshman Nathaniel Sawitzki said “I'm not a big fan of the MLB, but I have heard about him a lot lately and it's super impressive what he is doing. I'm excited to see if he can keep it up.” We will see if Ohtani will be able to prove himself over the next few months.