Recently, Fox Sports' Baseball Analyst and Ohtani superfan Ben Verlander spoke with ESPN Pitching Analyst Rob Friedman (Pitching Ninja) about Ohtani's pitch arsenal. While both are always amazed with what he has to offer coming out of his arm, Ninja appears even more mesmerized with what he's doing on the mound:
"This is a once in a lifetime thing, (Shohei Ohtani) has an arsenal that is envy of almost every pitcher in the major leagues," said Ninja.
He's most certainly right, as Ohtani is currently contending to be the AL starting All-Star pitcher again this season. He was last year, and has even improved since then.
Pitching Ninja believes Shohei Ohtani is an even better pitcher for the LA Angels than he is a hitter.
"I would say he is a better pitcher than a hitter. I still would go with that," said Pitching Ninja on LA Angels' Ace/DH Shohei Ohtani. "Because look what he does. His splitter's unhittable. He throws over 100. His slider has one of the biggest horizontal breaks in the game. He can flip in a curveball. He can do virtually anything."
That's high praise, as Ohtani sports a .258/.362/.559 (.920 OPS) slash line these past two seasons.
"I think people get jaded by that (arsenal)," said Friedman. "Some people think 'Oh, he's all hype.' He is not all hype. He's fantastic. I drop everything, every time he's on the bump just to watch him."
It truly is bizarre that Ohtani's able to play both positions, taking the strength out of his lower half at the plate, yet STILL dominating on the rubber. Nobody else takes on this type of workload, and he still has one of the nine best ERA's among AL starters.
"I think he would win multiple Cy Young Awards if he concentrated just on pitching," said Friedman.
And...why not? Ohtani has struck out 11.9 hitters per nine innings in 2022. That's WITH him also being a full-time DH. Imagine if he was able to conserve his strength and power for the mound. Multiple Cy Youngs would be easy money for ShoTime.
The best player in baseball is FAR from just the 150 OPS+ hitter he's been these past two years. He's somehow much more than that, and a true Ace on the mound. He'll be an All-Star again this season, as he continues to make his case as the best two-way player in baseball history.