Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard all about Shohei Ohtani, the rare two-way superstar for the Los Angeles Angels.
There have been few players like Ohtani in Major League Baseball history, and his rise to stardom traces back to his time in Japan, where some teams were psyched to use him only for his skilled pitching. Meanwhile, some MLB teams wanted him to focus solely on hitting if he made the leap to the United States as a young prospect.
After Ohtani initially asked Japanese teams not to draft him, so he could make his way to America as an 18-year-old, the Nippon-Ham Fighters of the Pacific League presented him with a 30-page proposal that ultimately allowed him to continue his two-way career.
The video below from MLB highlights the chain of events.
After signing with the Nippon-Ham Fighters, Ohtani showed over the course of five seasons why MLB teams should give him a chance to continue as a two-way player in the U.S.
The Angels eventually landed the Japanese star with an eye toward using him as a dual-positioned standout, and that gamble obviously turned into a jackpot.
The talented Sho-Time has been putting up jaw-dropping stats in the 2021 MLB season, and many more spectacular moments likely are to come from the 27-year-old.
Will we see players specialize in multiple positions in MLB moving forward? Ohtani might have started a movement for the future of the league.