Shohei Ohtani Proving Two-Way MLB Stardom Is Far from a Myth

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It took about 100 years, but Major League Baseball has finally found a worthy successor to the Great Bambino.

Or so it would seem after Shohei Ohtani followed up a win in his MLB pitching debut by launching home runs in back-to-back-to-back games, nfl shop free shipping and then authored yet another dominant start in his second trip to the mound.

The 23-year-old Japanese phenom made his first start for the Los Angeles Angels on April 1 and earned a win with six mostly dominant innings. Two days later on April 3, he collected his first major league home run as the Angels' designated hitter.

As if to prove a point, Ohtani homered again off two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber the very next day and again the day after that with a 112.4 mph, 449-foot clout off A's starter Daniel Gossett.

Ohtani's most recent feat? That would be taking a perfect game into the seventh inning in his Sunday start against the A's. He lost his bid for a perfecto on a single by Marcus Semien, but still walked away with 12 strikeouts to just one hit and one walk allowed.

Because Ohtani is only six games into his MLB career, the usual small-sample-size disclaimers apply. Not every start he makes will be dominant. Not every at-bat he takes will result in a dinger. And so on.

Even still, there's no ignoring the smell of the crow that Ohtani is cooking up for his critics.

He had a lot of those (ahem) by the time spring training came to a close. He had arrived to his first camp with the Angels with an .859 OPS and a 2.52 ERA on his Nippon Professional Baseball record but exited it with only a .347 OPS and a 27.00 ERA to show for his first taste of major league action.

Ohtani looked as bad as those numbers suggested. As a pitcher, he battled up-and-down fastball velocity and an inconsistent release point. As a hitter, he struggled to put good swings on all sorts of pitches.

However, what looked like a real struggle at the time now looks like one of the greatest hustles in recent memory.

Ohtani didn't look like a pitcher who was still trying to find his way in his debut on the mound. He looked like an up-and-coming ace. His fastball averaged 97.8 mph and touched triple digits. He also got whiff after whiff on his unfathomably nasty splitter, plus a few more on a solid slider.

His fastball dipped to a 96.5 mph average in his second starting assignment, but he made up for that by doing a better job of pitching down in the zone with all his pitches. official nfl shop Ultimately, he earned 24 swings and misses out of just 91 total pitches.

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