We may never run out of ways to show that Shohei Ohtani is special, but Friday’s performance provides plenty on its own.
The Los Angeles Angels phenom entered Friday already on a tear, having won AL Player of the Month for a month of June in which he hit .309/.423/.889. He already held the MLB lead in home runs with 28. He was already making history.
And then he hit his 29th homer of the season to break Mike Trout’s Angels records for most home runs before the All-Star break.
And then he hit his 30th homer of the season one plate appearance later.
talented, brilliant, incredible, amazing, show stopping, spectacular, never the same, totally unique, completely not ever been done before pic.twitter.com/qjXLSogrpE
Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) July 3, 2021
Oh, and he also scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning by working a walk, stealing second base and taking home on Jared Walsh’s walk-off single.
Ohtani now has 30 home runs before the All-Star break, while still working a full load as a starting pitcher. It almost feels redundant to say we have never seen anything like this before in modern baseball.
In fact, we haven’t seen a combination of power and pitching like this at all, as Babe Ruth, literally the only useful historical precedent for Ohtani at this point, never reached the 30-home run mark when he was working consistently as a pitcher. The most home runs Ruth ever hit in a season in which he started more than one game as a pitcher was 29 in 1919, his final year with the Boston Red Sox.
Most home runs as batter in season with 10+ games pitched, AL/NL history:
2021 Shohei Ohtani: 301919 Babe Ruth: 292018 Shohei Ohtani: 22
Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) July 3, 2021
We also haven’t seen a combination of power and speed this early, at least in the American league. Ohtani’s combination of 30 home runs and 12 stolen bases puts him in a club occupied only by Sammy Sosa and Albert Pujols.
It feels so unfair to remember that, in addition to everything, Ohtani also has elite speed at 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds.
Shohei Ohtani of the @Angels is the first player in AL history to reach 30 HR and 10 SB in his team’s first 81 games of the season. The only NL players to have done it are Sammy Sosa (1998) and Albert Pujols (2009).
Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) July 3, 2021
So in conclusion, we have never seen a player with Ohtani’s combination of power and pitching this year, and we have only a few times seen his combination of power and speed as well. He is currently hitting .280/.364/.705 with 58 runs and 66 RBIs. And pitching a 3.60 ERA in 60 innings with 83 strikeouts.
Basically, he’s the first legitimate 10-tool player in baseball history (as well the AL MVP favorite right now). And he may only be getting started.
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