The year is 2017 and rumors of a modern-day Babe Ruth phenom in the Japanese baseball league swirled throughout the MLB. Move forward to late March of 2018 and the rumors turn into reality. Shohei Ohtani first debuted as a designated hitter for a few games before making his pitching debut. Once ShoTime debuted at the plate and as a pitcher, it was clear he was something special.
Fast forward again to 2021 and Ohtani has become the biggest headline in baseball this year. Ohtani leads the MLB in home runs with 43 and he can smell a 100 RBI season as he currently has 93. As if his hitting is not enough this season, ShoTime is sporting an incredible 9-1 record and 2.97 ERA. Like I said in the beginning, the modern-day Babe Ruth is now a reality.
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No One Will Replicate Ohtani’s 2021 Season
We can talk about stats all day long for Ohtani as they show he is the real deal. The real truth here is that no one will replicate this season again. Ohtani is redefining the game of baseball with his two-way ability. Any player that can hit 40 plus homers and then go out and throw seven innings, is a once in a lifetime player. Am I jumping to conclusions too quickly? You tell me the last time a player dominated the plate both pitching and hitting. Shohei is baseball’s worst nightmare and there is nothing wrong with that.
Ohtani will end this season with an AL MVP under his belt due to his play this year. Ohtani has also made plenty of history this season. From being the first two-way all-star to being the first all-star to be the starting pitcher and hit in the game as well as the designated hitter. This type of history will not happen again. The only way it happens again is when Ohtani is voted in the all-star game as a pitcher and hitter for a second time.
Ohtani Versus Babe Ruth
While Babe Ruth’s competition might have been leaps and bounds different from the super athletes in today’s MLB, the comparison is still astonishing. Ruth threw for a sub 3.5 ERA six times in his career while also hitting 40 plus homers 11 times. Those numbers show why Ruth has long been considered one of the greatest baseball players of all time. So where does Ohtani compare?
Well, Ohtani has only been in the MLB for three seasons so obviously, the overall comparison isn’t valid. However, Ohtani has hit more homers in his first four years than Ruth did and it’s not even close. Ohtani has 90 home runs in four seasons while Ruth only had 20 in four seasons. Again, the competition level might not have been the same in the 1920s as it is in 2021 but still, Ohtani has shown his comparison to the Babe.
I do not want to sound like a broken record here but wow. Ohtani is redefining the game of baseball right in front of our eyes. Will we see more two-way players in the future? Maybe, maybe not but until then, Ohtani is here and we should admire him. Root for him even if he beats your favorite team, this is a once-in-a-lifetime player. Ohtani might never win a World Series or even a division title for that matter but boy will he reshape the record books. Congrats on a stellar season that isn’t even over yet for ShoTime.
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