The beauty of stats, in the MLB universe, is that they allow us to confirm things that the eye test usually suggests.
They are more accurate, and they paint a pretty conclusive picture of certain situations.
Players are usually not taught to perform both activities at the highest level.
And there is a reason for that: because they are both extremely hard on their own right.
It takes years of training to pitch a ball at 100+ mph with proper command and control; or to learn how to hit a slider with hard, sharp break.
But with Ohtani, everything is possible.
The Numbers Don’t Lie
MLB stats researcher James Smyth provides us with some perspective about just how dominant Ohtani is at both activities.
“Ohtani’s OPS+ this year is 145 (45 percent better than league average), better than Pete Alonso (144) and Rafael Devers (144). His ERA+ this year is 151 (51 percent better than league average, tied with Alek Manoah (151) and better than Nestor Cortes (144),” he tweeted.
Ohtani's OPS+ this year is 145 (45 percent better than league average), better than Pete Alonso (144) and Rafael Devers (144)
His ERA+ this year is 151 (51 percent better than league average, tied with Alek Manoah (151) and better than Nestor Cortes (144) https://t.co/ZlydtIW4lj
— James Smyth (@JamesSmyth621) August 29, 2022
Imagine being a better, more productive hitter than Pete Alonso and Rafael Devers while also being a better, more productive and effective hurler than Alek Manoah and Nestor Cortes.
Usually, teams have to employ two different players and two different roster spots to get that kind of on-field production.
Ohtani gives the Angels the chance of using that roster spot elsewhere because he can do both activities at an elite level.
It’s impressive, and his two-way talent could get him his second consecutive Cy Young award in the American League.