clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

You can’t prove Shohei Ohtani isn’t the greatest player of all-time

Thursday’s Say Hey, Baseball looks at Ohtani’s exciting first week at the plate.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Cleveland Indians  v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Sure, I can’t prove Shohei Ohtani is the greatest baseball player of all-time. But the burden of proof is on y’all. I’m the one with the platform and if I want to use it irresponsibly, I will, and you can’t stop me.*

*There are various ways in which you could stop me, but please, I need this job.

Ohtani hit a homer on Wednesday off of Corey Kluber after going deep for his first career MLB dinger on Tuesday, and we’re officially enthralled by him. Yes, it’s just two homers, and yes, he’s played in all of three games as a designated hitter and started another on the mound. However, let’s extrapolate over the course of a season: Ohtani is going to strike out 162 batters over 27 starts while going 27-0, and he’s going to hit at least 54 home runs if he’s a batter in half of the Angels games. More if he plays more!

Please, don’t argue with this math. Baseball Reference was already kind enough to project his line over 162 games for us: 108 homers, 324 hits, and a 254 OPS+ that would even make teammate Mike Trout blush.

OK, OK, fine he’s not going to do all that. Still, if Ohtani is a good pitcher, and Ohtani’s bat actually is an asset for the Angels when he’s in the lineup, then oh man, this dude is going to create arguments about the Most Valuable Player award that I’m actually going to be invested in, because they’re going to be philosophical and annoying as hell. There was no MVP award back when Babe Ruth was pitching and hitting. Uncharted territory in baseball? That we can fight about? Oh man oh man oh man keep playing well, Shohei, I can’t wait to yell on the internet.