When the season was in its infancy, I posted this conversation speculating about Ohtani’s potential.
A lot has happened since then. Ohtani will need Tommy John surgery (a replacement of the uni collateral ligament in his throwing elbow) in the offseason which would keep him from pitching for at least an entire calendar year. Players typically make full recoveries from this surgery so we’ll likely see him pitch again, but not for a while.
When he pitched, he was one of the better pitchers in baseball. Meanwhile, despite the ligament tear in his elbow, Ohtani has continued to bat without pain or complication. Out of batters with at least 250 plate appearances, he is legitimately one of the best hitters in baseball. He has an OPS of .953 (on base percentage + slugging percentage), one of the best in the league over that amount of plate appearances. He also has 20 home runs, more than all other starting pitchers in the entire league combined.
If you took his home run rate and gave him a full season’s worth of plate appearances (600 or so), he is on pace for 48 home runs.
Shohei Ohtani is, in fact, better than we thought. One of my favorite anecdotes about his season is from this article on Deadspin, which talks about his legendary batting practice session at Coors Field: