Why Shohei Ohtani is a big deal for baseball

He can change the face of the game for ever!

Shohei Ohtani

Shohei Ohtani | AP

OK, I need another reminder: Why is it that we don’t see two-way baseball players again?

Whatever the reasons, they sound like lame excuses and tired rationalizations after Shohei Ohtani’s performance thus far with the Los Angeles Angels. The 23-year-old who pitched and slugged his way to stardom in Japan is turning convention upside down in the States.


A couple of weeks ago, there were legitimate questions whether he should make the Opening Day roster. Beginning in the minors seemed logical for a youngster adapting to a new culture while struggling mightily on the mound and at the plate. The 27.00 ERA and .125 batting average during spring training couldn’t have done much for his confidence.


The lights at Triple-A Salt Lake City don’t shine nearly as brightly as they do at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Giving Ohtani time to adjust, before placing him under the big-league spotlight, seemed like the considerate thing to do, prudence and protection for his psyche as well as the Angels’ investment.


But Los Angeles ignored his spring, instead of putting faith in his raw tools and five awesome seasons in Japan.