One of the best parts was Ohtani's response to Stephen A. Smith's xenophobic comments towards him this past July, but that was far from it. Ohtani also spoke on what he thinks of the future and how he can approach it. He talked about it when GQ asked him about how he feels about being the face of baseball:
Using the term 'Face of Baseball' as beyond just an honor in the present and turning it into something he can use to motivate him in the future speaks to how astonishing ShoTime's mindset truly is.
It makes sense as to why he can hit .257/.372/.592 (.965 OPS), be the fastest baserunner in the American League, play the corner outfield spots, and also post a 3.18 ERA with a 1.090 WHIP and 141 ERA+ on the mound. It takes quite a bit of mental strength to do that, and Ohtani proved that he has the mental capability to keep his strong performance up.
Shohei Ohtani proved that he has the right mindset heading into 2022 and beyond for the LA Angels.
LA Angels' Ace and dominant DH, Shohei Ohtani, just spent his first season staying healthy as both a hitter and pitcher. Manager Joe Maddon now has a much better idea of how to use the most dangerous weapon in baseball as wisely as possible.
And even if Ohtani regresses, he'll still be one of the top couple players in baseball. Keep in mind, he didn't just have the best year of his career this season, but he had the best season in SPORTS history. He'll also finally have some lineup protection with Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, Justin Upton, and Jo Adell finally healthy.
And I actually disagree with Ohtani on saying that this was his "first really good year." In his Rookie of the Year season, he hit .285/.361/.564 (.925 OPS) with a 3.31 ERA and 127 ERA+ on the mound. I get that he only started 10 games on the mound, and batted in 104, but I absolutely consider that a "really good year" and so did the AL Rookie of the Year voters.
So he certainly has shown the ability to put up multiple really good years. One of the biggest reasons this year stood out in particular is because he was available every day. That looks like it'll continue, as Ohtani has responded incredibly well to Tommy John surgery.
Don't be surprised if Ohtani has yet another career-year next year. He clearly is already gearing up for it mentally.