This is the era of Ohtani Shohei (29, LA Angels). Even before the fatigue of the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) goes away, it is already raging in the US Major League (MLB).
On the 28th (Korean time), Ohtani started as the designated hitter in the 2023 MLB exhibition game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, USA, and played an active role with 2 hits and 1 run in 3 at-bats, leading the team to a 5-4 victory.
Ohtani, who led Japan to win the WBC and became the MVP and joined late, recorded two hits in a row and the first multi-hit (more than two hits in one game) in this demonstration game. His batting average rose from 0.375 to 0.455 (5 hits in 11 at-bats).
In the first inning, he stepped down with a fly ball in center field against opposing starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard, but in the second at-bat he received a curve and hit it to create a right-handed hit. He met Syndergaard again in the fifth inning with one out, and this time he hit through the slider and recorded a hit to the left. Afterwards, he was replaced by runner Jeremiah Jackson and finished the game early.
Ohtani’s season, which marks his 6th year in MLB, is raising expectations more than ever. In 2021, Ohtani, who threw 130⅓ innings as a pitcher, recorded a record of 9 wins, 2 losses, 156 strikeouts, an ERA of 3.18, and a hitter of 0.257, 46 homers, 100 RBIs, 103 runs메이저놀이터, and an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.964. won MVP.
Ohtani, who unfortunately missed 10 wins as a pitcher, put more weight as a pitcher the following year, and as a hitter, he recorded 0.273, 34 homers, 95 RBIs, 90 runs, an OPS of 0.875, which was somewhat disappointing compared to last year, but he recorded 15 wins, 9 losses, 219 strikeouts, and an ERA of 2.33 in 166 innings. He showed the same strength as a hero tearing out of a comic book.
Ohtani, who did not have enough time to stand on a big stage like the postseason due to poor team performance, once again demonstrated his true worth through the WBC. As a hitter, he hit hard with a batting average of 0.435, 1 home run, 8 RBIs, and 9 runs scored. As a pitcher, he displayed his power with 2 wins, 1 save and 1.86 ERA in 3 games. He became Japan’s winning pitcher, and the MVP was also his, as expected.
Ohtani, who has checked the feeling of hitting, will take on the heavy responsibility of starting as a starter in the opening match against the Auckland Athletics on the 31st.
Interest in Ohtani is growing more and more ahead of the new season. U.S. CBS Sports covered a special article titled, “Should Ohtani be offered a contract worth more than 600 million dollars (779.4 billion won)?”
Ohtani will become a free agent (FA) after this season. In the US, Ohtani is raising the possibility of signing a 10-year, $600 million contract. There is a story that the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, New York Yankees, and San Francisco Giants will actively run toward Ohtani.
Japan’s Sankei Sports said, “Ohtani is the world’s best player as both a hitter and a pitcher. He has a value that is not unreasonable even if he signs a large contract for a total of $600 million, including $300 million as a pitcher and $300 million as a hitter based on the contract period of 10 years. ” he added.