No. 2 reason why Shohei Ohtani deserves the Hank Aaron award: He’s the fastest baserunner in the AL
Let’s stay on the topic of Shohei Ohtani’s baserunning. Baserunning is one of the most important aspects of the offensive half of this game.
People don’t talk about it enough, but how can somebody stretch a deep single into a double, or stretch a shot to the wall into a triple if they don’t have wheels? Who’s going to turn routine singles into a runner on second by stealing a bag? Who’s going to be able to steal home?
Well, Ohtani does all of the above. He’s the fastest baserunner in baseball, and that adds an extra element to his game. How many times have we seen Ohtani hit infield singles, and advance bases while others are hitting due to his speed?
Nobody on this list’s baserunning impacts a game the way Ohtani’s does, and it’s paid off on the field.
It also even gave the Angels a powerful weapon to come in off the bench on one of his rare off-days. For most of these guys, an off-day was an off-day. For ShoTime, it was another opportunity to find a chance to come in and impact the game.
And even on a team with a Manager who didn’t like to steal a lot of bases this year, Ohtani still swiped 26.