Why Shohei Ohtani is the first-ever two-way MLB All-Star
Shohei Ohtani was named as the first-ever All-Star as both a pitcher and a batter. He’s been a great option for the Los Angeles Angels and is a rightful favourite for the MVP award later on. Let’s dive into his fantastic campaign and why he deserves this nod.
At 27 years of age, Ohtani has grown into one of the best players in the MLB. In the near-century-long history of the MLB, Ohtani has achieved the impossible by earning a spot in the 13th of July All-Star game. In classic Shohei fashion, he is a double-threat. He will be the American League team’s designated hitter because he leads the majors in home runs.
He will also play in the Home Run Derby which will give him three responsibilities for the All-Star break. Angels head coach Joe Maddon is impressed with his star player.
‘The guy’s going to participate in Home Run Derby, pitch in the game and hit in the game’, Maddon said. ‘That doesn’t happen like, ever. So this is the one time... even the non-baseball fan can really latch onto this and become interested’.
Why Shohei deserves this nod
Shohei has proven he deserves this first-ever nod this season. He is not only one of the best pitchers in the league but he also leads the league in home runs. That is impressive and it should be commended. Shohei was named an All-Star alongside fellow Angels star Mike Trout.
This kind of all-around ability is hard to replicate and Shohei is in the midst of a historic campaign. People always talked about how Trout is the best player in the world, now, Shohei has a legitimate case. Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Pérez talked about the debate between the two Angels. Pérez said the two stars are tied because Ohtani is in unreal form.
It will be hard to choose between the two stars but Shohei’s 2021 campaign is nearly impossible to do. He has made a valid case to be called the best player in the world and this first-time accolade is a big argument why he should be involved in that debate.
Why this matters for pro baseball
Most of the time, people think that baseball players should be locked into one role. With Shohei’s 2021 run, he’s proven players should not be restricted into one type of playstyle because everyone can succeed as long as they work hard.
Shohei is a sign that baseball is changing and other players should try to get out of their comfort zone. It will be hard to do but it has been done and it will be up to future players to step up and replicate what Shohei has done this year.
While the Angels are not the best team in the MLB, Shohei Ohtani has proven he can still shine despite their lacklustre record in the AL West.
Words: Cholo Martin