LA Angels News

Shohei Ohtani Receives Top Honors for April

By Vincent Page
ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 01: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim runs to thrid base in the fourth inning against Baltimore Orioles at Angel Stadium on May 1, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 01: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim runs to thrid base in the fourth inning against Baltimore Orioles at Angel Stadium on May 1, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /
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After a rough Spring Training, it was hard to imagine Shohei Ohtani contributing much so early this season. However, he has ridden a wave of slugging and strikeouts to win his first major award.

After winning AL Player of the Week honors, Shohei Ohtani has topped that, being named the AL Rookie of the Month for April.  Ohtani beat out fellow rookies Joey Wendle and Tyler Austin of the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees, respectively.

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Ohtani’s month was one for the history books. He drew comparisons to Babe Ruth throughout the month, and currently leads the Angels with a .333 batting average, along with a slugging percentage of .667. That slugging percentage would rank sixth throughout the entire MLB. Every time Ohtani takes the field, he is a spectacle for fans to watch. His four home runs are third on the team behind only Albert Pujols and Mike Trout. That’s the best right-handed hitter of all-time and the best player in baseball, respectively.

Not bad company.

On the mound, Ohtani has been as promised. He lit up the Oakland Athletics in his first two starts, carrying a perfect game into the seventh inning in his home debut. While he has battled injuries (a blister and a sprained ankle), he has still shown the ace potential promised to Anaheim.

He struggled against top teams like the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros, but so would any rookie. His injuries have limited, but he has also battled through them. While he hasn’t made a start since his ankle sprain, he returned to the lineup on Tuesday as a designated hitter. In that game, he hit a double in the.

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The highlights of Ohtani’s first month were plentiful. However, striking out reigning MVP Jose Altuve and homering off reigning Cy Young Corey Kluber was historic. That is something that has never been done before, and will likely never happen again (unless Ohtani strikes again).

Ohtani should take the mound again sometime this weekend, looking to prove he still has the stuff of aces. One thing is for certain though. This will not be the last award Ohtani wins, and certainly not the biggest.

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