Shohei Ohtani is the most exciting thing to happen to baseball in years. He is the modern-day Babe Ruth. Yes, the legandary “Bambino”.
Comparisons to Ruth are being made due to Ohtani being a position player since he is a position player in the team’s starting pitcher rotation. And, like Ruth, Ohtani would be an all-star at either position.
It took almost 100 years for another Ruth-like athlete to star in the majors, but we truly have one now. As a pitcher, Ohtani has a 2.58 ERA and strikes out 12.4 batters per nine innings. And, like Ruth, he is even a better hitter.
Ohtani is so good at hitting that he plays the field between starts. He’s currently leading the AL in home runs and triples. If Ohtani maintains his lead he will find his name with two other legendary MLB players. Both Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays did it in 1955.
The problem is that Ohtani plays for the Los Angeles Angels. An Angels team that does not win many games. An Angels team that rarely wins even though they have the best player in baseball in Mike Trout.
The only way for Ohtani to escape from obscurity will be to play out his contract through 2023 and become a free agent. He will be 29 years old in 2023 with plenty of baseball left. The Angels will certainly try to keep him because he is good for business. They can give him a huge deal and try to keep him on the only MLB team that he’s ever known. Or he can entertain the many offers that will come his way.
This upcoming decision is about him wasting his career like Trout. While Trout has put together a Hall of Fame career, he’s been in the postseason just once. The Angels were swept in 2014. Trout is a Hall of Famer, but he will never be considered one of the best ever. He does not have any measurable playoff exposure.
The Angels are currently in fourth place in the AL West and eight games out of the Wild Card with multiple teams ahead of them in line. This is Ohtani’s third season in LA and they’ve finished in 4th place every year.
Ohtani needs to find a franchise that competes for championships. Somewhere he can get in the postseason on a regular basis and show off all these awesome things on baseball’s biggest stage.