If it wasn’t already clear, what Ohtani is doing is simply on another level.
At this point we’ve all heard the comparisons to Babe Ruth, but honestly, these two aren’t even in the same league anymore, at least not when talking about their two-way capabilities.
Shohei Ohtani is already a better two-way player than Babe Ruth ever was.
Something most people don’t realize when talking about The Babe is that during his stint as a two-way player, he was only effective in both roles at the same time during the 1918 and 1919 seasons.
Outside of those two seasons, he was either primarily a pitcher with limited time as a hitter (1914-1917), or primarily a hitter who only made five more pitching appearances total (1920-1935).
In 1918 and 1919, as a pitcher, Ruth owned a 2.22 ERA (122 ERA+) and 2.97 ERA (102 ERA+), totaling 1.5 fWAR and 0.5 fWAR in them, respectively.
As a hitter, he put up 189 wRC+ and a league-leading 11 home runs in 1918 (5.2 fWAR) before exploding a year later with 29 home runs and 203 wRC+ (9.4 fWAR).
Combined, Ruth was worth 6.7 fWAR in 1918 and 9.9 fWAR in 1919. In other words, 1919 is the current high mark for the title of greatest two-way season ever which, for the sake of argument, also makes it the most impressive individual season ever as well.
As of right now, Ohtani has already accumulated 6.5 fWAR in 2021. It’ll be close, but with just over 50 games left in the season, Ohtani may very well eclipse Ruth’s historic WAR mark.
If that happens, then there will be no denying that Shohei Ohtani’s 2021 season is the greatest two-way season in baseball history and, by default, the single greatest individual season of all time.