Shohei Ohtani has been making waves in the Major League Baseball (MLB) this season, and for good reason. The two-way star has been playing like a man possessed, putting up incredible performances both on the mound and at the plate. But it is his pitching that has really caught the attention of fans and pundits alike. The Japanese sensation has been historically, unbelievably good on the mound so far in 2023, and it is a joy to watch him work his magic.
To put it simply, Ohtani has been putting up numbers that seem too good to be true. In his first seven starts of the season, he has posted a 6-1 record with a 1.40 earned run average (ERA) and a remarkable strikeout-to-walk ratio of 5.73. He has struck out 55 batters in just 45 innings pitched, and he currently leads the American League in strikeouts per nine innings with an average of 11.00.
But what really sets Ohtani apart is his ability to throw pitches that nobody else can. He regularly hits triple-digit speeds on his fastball, and his breaking pitches are some of the nastiest in the game. His splitter, in particular, has been devastating to batters, with an average vertical drop of more than two feet. He throws it with such conviction that hitters have been whiffing on it more than 50 percent of the time.
Some have compared Ohtani’s pitching prowess to that of Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, who was known for his blistering fastball and ability to strike out batters at an astonishing rate. But Ohtani may even be better than Ryan was in his prime. In fact, Ohtani’s strikeout rate so far this season is the highest of any pitcher in history with at least 45 innings pitched.
What makes Ohtani’s performance even more impressive is the fact that he is also a valuable asset at the plate. He currently leads the Angels in home runs (10) and runs batted in (28), and he boasts an impressive .964 OPS. This is a player who can do it all, and it is no wonder that he has quickly become one of the most exciting players to watch in the league.
Of course, it is still early in the season, and anything can happen. But if Ohtani can maintain his current level of performance, he could go down as one of the best two-way players in MLB history. He has already made a name for himself as a rookie in 2018, but this season he is taking things to a whole new level. Angels fans are lucky to have him on their team, and baseball fans everywhere should be watching closely as he continues to dazzle on the mound and at the plate.