The Next ‘Babe Ruth’, Shohei Ohtani Wins MLB Debut
It's not all that rare to have major league ball clubs to spend an off season wooing and drooling over a foreign born player. What is rare, is when that player is both a pitcher and position player who can hit.
Enter Shohei Ohtani. Born in Japan, Ohtani signed with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim this past off season, and ever since, we've been waiting to see how he would fair in the big leagues. And quite frankly, it wasn't looking all that good at the beginning. Just look at how quickly he was being written off as a fraud in THIS ARTICLE on Bleacher Report.
Here are some of the low lights from Ohtani's start:
- He got roughed up in a B-game against the Tijuana Toros.
- He started out 2 for 20 with seven strikeouts.
- He then went up against the Colorado Rockies, who got six hits and seven runs off Ohtani before he even recorded an out.
Still pretty early to write the 23 year-old off, right? Of course. But we live in a reactionary society where we have to over value your last performance. Do poorly, you're the worst ever. Do great, you're the best ever. Well, let's move ahead in Ohtani's career to his first MLB start. He did well, so of course now he's back to being the next Babe Ruth.
Ohtani won his Major League debut, beating the Oakland A's 7 to 4. Other than giving up a 3 run homer in the second inning, Ohtani looked good. He ended up retiring 14 of his final 15 batters. Overall throwing 92 pitches, with 63 of them being strikes.
While it's still way too soon to call Ohtani a boom or a bust, he has done something that no one has done since Babe Ruth. Ohtani became the first player, since Ruth in 1919 for the Red Sox, to start opening day in a non-pitching role, and then start on the mound in the first 10 games.