I remember the year 2023 like it was yesterday. Shohei Ohtani had already established himself as a dominant force in the MLB, but that season was something else entirely. As a two-way player for the Los Angeles Angels, he shattered records and stunned fans with his combination of pitching and hitting abilities. Ohtani’s absurd achievements included 60 home runs, 23 wins on the mound, and a 1.52 ERA. All of this was tracked in English, making it accessible to even more fans around the world. It was truly a season for the history books.
The Rise of Shohei Ohtani: A Look at His Absurd Achievements in 2023
It’s no secret that Shohei Ohtani has been at the forefront of baseball conversation for the better part of a decade. The two-way sensation became an instant sensation in Japan and immediately piqued the interest of MLB scouts around the globe.
By the time he arrived in the United States, he was a bona fide superstar. His 2018 season with the Los Angeles Angels was impressive, but it was just a glimpse of what was to come.
Fast forward to 2023, and Ohtani is a household name. He’s achieved the unimaginable — becoming the first player to win the American League MVP and the Cy Young award in the same season since 2011. He’s also become the first player to hit 50 home runs and record 200 strikeouts in a season.
Ohtani’s pitching has always been his bread and butter. In 2023, he continued to dominate opposing batters, finishing the season with a 2.45 ERA and a record of 23-4. He also struck out an astounding 310 batters in just 219 innings pitched.
Ohtani’s success on the mound can be attributed to his uncanny ability to locate his pitches. His fastball consistently sits in the high-90s, and he complements it with a devastating splitter that dives to the bottom of the strike zone.
But it’s not just Ohtani’s pitches that make him so dominant. His work ethic and dedication to improving his craft have been praised by everyone from his teammates to opposing managers. He’s constantly refining his mechanics and studying opposing hitters to find their weaknesses.
As if his pitching dominance wasn’t impressive enough, Ohtani also established himself as one of the league’s most dangerous hitters. He finished the season with a .308 batting average, 54 home runs, and 137 RBI. He also set a new Angels single-season record with 42 doubles.
Ohtani’s unique blend of power and contact ability make him virtually unstoppable at the plate. His batting stance is unconventional, but it allows him to generate tremendous power from his hips and lower half. And when he makes contact, the ball tends to go a very long way.
But what really makes Ohtani’s hitting so impressive is that he does it all while being a full-time pitcher. It’s rare enough for a player to excel at one of those positions, let alone both.
So what’s next for Shohei Ohtani? It’s hard to imagine him improving on his incredible 2023 season, but he seems to have a way of surpassing expectations.
One thing that’s certain is that Ohtani’s two-way play has changed the way teams think about roster construction. No longer is it taboo to have a player who can contribute both on the mound and at the plate. In fact, Ohtani has shown that it can be a major advantage.
As for the man himself, he remains as humble and driven as ever. He’s quick to credit his teammates and coaches for his success and is constantly looking for ways to improve.
In the end, Shohei Ohtani’s absurd achievements in 2023 are a testament to his talent, work ethic, and dedication to his craft. He’s accomplished things that were once thought impossible and has shown that there are still new frontiers to be explored in the world of baseball.
Only time will tell what the future holds for Ohtani, but one thing is for sure — he’s already cemented his legacy as one of the greatest players of his generation.