Sure, some players had a few seasons of good pitching performance and others of top offensive numbers.
That came nearly a century ago, and both usually didn’t come in the same season.
Ohtani, since arriving in the United States, has shown a unique combination of skills that make him the most fascinating baseball player of our lifetimes.
No one has been as good as he is at both pitching and hitting.
Young players are either trained for years to hit a ball with authority; or to pitch a baseball with pinpoint control and movement; but not both!
Ohtani is not just your average player, though.
“Shohei Ohtani has a 151 OPS+ and a 156 ERA+ and that OPS+ is basically Jeff Bagwell over his career and that ERA+ is basically Pedro Martinez over his career and I’m just not sure what world this even is,” sportswriter Joe Posnanski tweeted.
Shohei Ohtani has a 151 OPS+ and a 156 ERA+ and that OPS+ is basically Jeff Bagwell over his career and that ERA+ is basically Pedro Martinez over his career and I’m just not sure what world this even is.
— Joe Posnanski (@JPosnanski) September 7, 2022
Ohtani Is Unique In Many Ways
It’s a very good way to put things in context and appreciate Ohtani’s greatness.
As a hitter, he is as good as a Houston Astros legend and Hall of Fame player.
On the mound, he is on the same level as another Hall of Famer: Pedro Martinez was the idol of an entire generation and one of the best pitchers in the history of the game: he performed in the middle of the steroids era and still found consistent success.
Seeing Ohtani being compared to those two is nothing short of mind-blowing.
It’s another reminder to appreciate what you have until it’s gone: one day in the future, Ohtani will retire, and his all-around greatness won’t be on the field anymore.
Enjoy his ace-like performances and mammoth home runs while you can, because you are witnessing baseball history.