Major League Baseball history was made on Sunday, as Shohei Ohtani of Oshu, Japan was chosen for the 2021 Major League Baseball All-Star game not only as the starting designated hitter in the American League, but as a pitcher as well. There is no doubt that Ohtani is having a sensational season from multiple different positions, but nobody would have expected this Japanese baseball sensation to do what he has done so far in 2021. Now this Los Angeles Angels megastar will become the first player ever to be chosen as a pitcher and as a designated hitter in the Midsummer Classic.
Let’s take a look at what Ohtani has done offensively first, and see why he has been chosen to be in the starting lineup for the American League. In 78 games this season, he is batting .278 with a Major League-high 31 home runs and 67 runs batted in. Ohtani also leads Major League Baseball with a .704 slugging percentage, and is tied for the American League in triples with four. Ohtani is tied with Nick Madrigal of the Chicago White Sox, Luis Arraez of the Minnesota Twins, Mark Canha of the Oakland Athletics, Amed Rosario of the Cleveland Indians, and Akil Baddoo of the Detroit Tigers. David Peralta of the Arizona Diamondbacks leads Major League Baseball with six triples.
In 277 at bats, Ohtani also has scored 60 runs, and had 77 hits, 17 doubles, 12 stolen bases, 36 walks, a .366 on base percentage, 195 total bases, three times hit by a pitch, and one sacrifice fly. On the mound, Ohtani has been extremely respectable too. In 12 games and 60 innings pitched, Ohtani has a record of three wins, one loss and an earned run average of 3.60. He has given up only 41 hits, 24 earned runs, and had a career-high 83 strikeouts compared to 35 walks, with a WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) of 1.27.