“The greatest player in our sport.”
Major League Baseball legend John Smoltz, 56, who compiled a 213-155 career record with a 3.33 ERA, had high praise for Shohei Ohtani, 29, of the Los Angeles Angels. Smoltz, brother of Justin Verlander (Houston Astros), recently appeared on baseball analyst Ben Verlander’s podcast, “Flippin’ Bats,” and made the above comments about Ohtani.
Specifically, Smoltz said, “People will complain that the MVP is Shohei Ohtani, but I think he’s definitely the MVP. It’s just the nature of the beast, he’s doing things we’ve never seen before. I think he’s the greatest athlete in our sport.”
According to Sportskeeda, which reported the comments on Sept. 26, Smoltz believes Ohtani is not just the best superstar in Major League Baseball, but the best athlete in all of sports right now. Ohtani’s season was cut short a bit early due to elbow and side injuries. His contract with the Los Angeles Angels is about to expire.
In 135 games this season, Ohtani batted .304 with 151 hits in 497 at-bats, 44 home runs, 95 RBI, 102 runs scored, 20 doubles, a .654 on-base percentage, a .412 slugging percentage, and a 1.066 OPS. On the mound, he went 10-5 in 23 games with a 3.14 ERA, 0.184 WHIP, 1.06 WHIP, and 167 strikeouts in 132 innings pitched.
Even though his season ended quickly, he still ranks at the top of the American League in all offensive categories. Through 25 days, he’s first in home runs, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS, third in batting average, third in runs scored, and tied for ninth in RBI. On the mound, he’s first in ERA, tied for third in WHIP, and fourth in FIP if he’s pitched a full game.
He’s a lock to be the unanimous MVP for the second year in a row. Sports Illustrated even said that “Ohtani would have gotten the nod for the second straight year if Aaron Judge (New York Yankees) hadn’t literally made history by setting a single-season home run record with 62 home runs (an American League and Yankees single-season record).” That would have made it three straight American League MVPs by this year.스포츠토토
In fact, in 2022, Ohtani continued to excel at the plate, batting .273 with 160 hits in 586 at-bats, 34 home runs, 95 RBI, 90 runs scored, a .519 on-base percentage, a .356 slugging percentage, and an .875 OPS in 157 games. It was a slight drop from his 2021 numbers that earned him his first MVP honor, but it was still good enough for the award. On the mound, he went 15-9 with a 2.33 ERA in 28 games.
Ohtani is back in Japan after undergoing elbow surgery. He will emerge as a free agent after the postseason. He’s sure to get at least a five- to six-figure contract in free agency in 2023-2024. In the meantime, he has a very good chance of making major league history by becoming the second unanimous MVP of his career.