Shohei Ohtani is having his most dominant, historic season yet
Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani (17) Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Shohei Ohtani is having his most dominant, historic season yet

Los Angeles Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani has been making history for three years now as the greatest two-way player the sport has ever seen. 

He has not only exceeded all expectations in his ability to star as both a hitter and starting pitcher, but he also somehow manages to keep getting better. And the 2023 season is looking like his best season yet.

Even though the Angels were on the losing end of a 9-7 decision to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday afternoon, Ohtani still managed to slug his Major League leading 29th home run of the season, giving him a whopping 14 home runs in the month of June. 

It also helped him extend his lead in several other major categories.

Entering play on Friday Ohtani leads all of Major League Baseball in the following categories:

  • Home runs. His 29 are three more than Atlanta's Matt Olson and put him on pace to hit 58 over a full 162-game season.
  • Total bases. Ohtani has already accumulated 209 total bases and is the only player in the Major Leagues to have more than 190. Atlanta's Ronald Acuna Jr. is the only other player in the majors with more than 175. 
  • RBI. His 66 runs batted in are actually tied for the Major League lead with Texas' Alodis Garcia.
  • Triples. His five triples are also tied for the majors lead with four other players.
  • Slugging percentage. Ohtani is slugging an almost unbelievable .666 following his Thursday home run, a number that is .080 points higher than the next highest qualified hitter (J.D. Martinez at .586). The gap between Ohtani and Martinez at one and two is the same as the gap between Martinez and the 19th highest slugging percentage in baseball. 
  • OPS. Ohtani is the only qualified hitter in Major League Baseball with an OPS over 1.000, pacing the league with a 1.057 mark. Acuna (.993) and Freddie Freeman (.943) are the only other players to top even .930 as of Friday. 

As if all of that is not enough, he is also hitting .309 (eighth in the Majors), with a .392 on-base percentage (10th) and 11 stolen bases. 

He is objectively speaking the best hitter in baseball this season. 

That alone would make him the top free agent on the market this winter and one of the best free agents in recent memory.

But that is before you factor in his pitching dominance. He is sporting a 3.02 ERA (top-15 in the Majors) and has the third most strikeouts (127) in the league while averaging more than 12 per nine innings (second best in the Majors). 

His presence is basically the same as having Ronald Acuna and Gerrit Cole all in one player. 

Nobody in the history of the sport has ever done all of this at the same time. He is not just a generational player, he is a historic player. There is nobody else like him, has never been anybody else like him and may never be anybody else like him. No matter how much attention he gets for what he is doing, it is still probably being undersold. This is simply not supposed to happen at this level. 

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