Shohei Ohtani was born on July 5th, 1994, in Japan. He attended Hanamaki Higashi High School in northern Japan. It was there where he hit 99 mph on the radar gun with his fastball, and he wanted to bring that fastball to the major leagues. He was instead drafted by the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. In his first season with the Fighters in 2013, Ohtani would go 3-0 with a 4.23 ERA and he hit .238 in 204 plate appearances.
Ohtani continued to impress over the years in Japan as both a pitcher and a hitter. By 2016, Ohtani had won the league’s Most Valuable Player award. He finished the season hitting .322 with 22 home runs and 10-4 as a pitcher with a 1.86 ERA. He also struck out 174 hitters in 140 innings. After an injury plagued 2017, Ohtani was heading to the major leagues. On December 8th, 2017, Ohtani agreed to a deal with the Los Angeles Angels. They allowed him to hit and pitch just as he did in Japan.
Ohtani hit .285 in his rookie season, with 22 home runs, 61 RBI, and 10 stolen bases. He also went 4-2 as a pitcher with a 3.31 ERA, leading him to win Rookie of the Year honors. After another successful year in 2019 and a shortened 2020 season, Ohtani would take off in 2021. He would go 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA and 156 strikeouts, as well as hitting .257 with 46 home runs, 100 RBI, 103 runs scored, and 26 stolen bases on his way to winning the American League MVP. We are witnessing something truly historic with Ohtani and you won’t want to miss it.
By STEVE FARACE