The Pioneer

The Pioneer

Shohei Ohtani

Baseball+player+Shohei+Ohtani%2C+of+Japan%2C+poses+for+photos+after+a+news+conference+at+Angel+Stadium%2C+Saturday%2C+Dec.+9%2C+2017%2C+in+Anaheim%2C+Calif.+The+Japanese+star+is+bringing+his+arm+and+bat+to+the+Los+Angeles+Angels%2C+pairing+him+with+two-time+MVP+Mike+Trout.+%28AP+Photo%2FJae+C.+Hong%29
Baseball player Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, poses for photos after a news conference at Angel Stadium, Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017, in Anaheim, Calif. The Japanese star is bringing his arm and bat to the Los Angeles Angels, pairing him with two-time MVP Mike Trout. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Baseball player Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, poses for photos after a news conference at Angel Stadium, Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017, in Anaheim, Calif. The Japanese star is bringing his arm and bat to the Los Angeles Angels, pairing him with two-time MVP Mike Trout. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

AP

AP

Baseball player Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, poses for photos after a news conference at Angel Stadium, Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017, in Anaheim, Calif. The Japanese star is bringing his arm and bat to the Los Angeles Angels, pairing him with two-time MVP Mike Trout. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Kenny Corcoran, Athletics Editor

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Los Angeles Angels’ Starting Pitcher and Designated Hitter (DH) Shohei Ohtani is one to remember. Ohtani was a highly sought after free agent once it was announced that he was looking to sign with a MLB team. It was anticipated that he would sign with an American League team, since they have a DH, which would allow Ohtani to hit when he was not pitching, but ultimately Ohtani chose to sign with the Angels, teaming him up with Mike Trout.

Ohtani made his first appearance on Mar. 29, going 1 for 4 with 1 hit along and a strikeout added to his statline. The first few games did not prove him exceptional however, he has really turned things around since the first few days of April. Ohtani made his first career start on Apr. 1, Easter Sunday.  Ohtani pitched well with the exception of one 3 run homer which was all the runs that he gave up in his 6 innings pitched. In those 6 innings, Ohtani struckout 6 batters and allowed only one walk.

Ohtani had his next appearance on Apr. 3 when he once again was the DH for the Angels. This was a breakout game for Ohtani hitting as he went 3 for 4 with 3 runs batted in (RBI), along with 2 runs scored. He also added the first home run of his MLB career. This raised his batting average from .200 to .444.  Ohtani followed this up the next day when he went 2 for 5 including his second home run of the season and also contributing two RBIs in the game. In the following game Ohtani was once again a major part of the Angel’s victory going 1 for 4 with 2 RBIs in a high scoring game. In this game he hit his 3rd home run of the game, marking the 3rd straight game that he hit a home run.

The next game that Ohtani played in was his second start of the season, where he pitched lights out, completely dominating the game. Ohtani set down the first 19 batters he faced, only allowing a hit in the 7th inning with one out. He only pitched to finish that 7th inning, but it vastly improved his pitching statistics and also brought him into a very special group.  Ohtani is only the third player in MLB history to have hit a home run in multiple games and also have a double digit strikeout game in the same season. The first person ever was Babe Ruth back in 1916.

So far Ohtani has exceeded expectations, proving all of his critics wrong. In his first 2 starts he is 2-0 with a 2.08 Earned Run Average in his 13 innings pitched. Ohtani also has registered 18 strikeouts in these starts, also adding to his strikeout per nine innings ratio(K/9) which is now 12.46 which is impressive.  His batting stats overall in the 4 games that he has been designated is 3 home runs to go with 7 RBIs and an impressive batting average of .389.

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Shohei Ohtani