Lots of players reach the major leagues in some capacity.
Very few are good enough to be called stars, and only a handful are considered generational talents.
Bryce Harper, Miguel Cabrera, and Justin Verlander, for example, are generational players, those who come along once or twice in a decade or so.
Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani, however, is much more than that.
He has moved up a tier or two and is on another level, according to the St. Louis Cardinals’ Lars Nootbaar.
Nootbaar is playing alongside Ohtani in the World Baseball Classic,
In the eyes of Nootbaar, Ohtani is easily the greatest player of all time when it comes to baseball.
“Lars Nootbaar talks about playing alongside Shohei Ohtani – and him being instead of a ‘once in a generation’ player, ‘once in a lifetime,'” ESPN’s Marly Rivera tweeted.
Lars Nootbar talks about playing alongside Shohei Ohtani – and him being instead of a “once in a generation” player, “once in a lifetime.” #WorldBaseballClassic pic.twitter.com/CYiXkkIJf6
— Marly Rivera (@MarlyRiveraESPN) March 20, 2023
Nootbaar might be right.
Throughout history, there have been players like Harper, Cabrera, or Verlander.
Very, very few, but they have existed.
None of them, however, have been as uniquely impactful and talented as Ohtani.
We are talking about a guy who is capable of hitting 46 home runs with a 3.18 ERA on the mound, as he did in his MVP-winning 2021 season; or knocking 34 long balls with a 2.33 ERA and 219 punchouts like he did last year.
Nobody has achieved that kind of two-way prowess in the history of the game, at least not in the same season.
Ohtani’s performances since he arrived with the Angels in 2018 sadly haven’t resulted in playoff games for him and his team, but he is sure hoping to change that in the near future.NEXT: Angels Insider Reveals Latest Brandon Drury Update