Shohei Ohtani Signs with the Los Angeles Angels

Evan Rivelli, Journalism Writer

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Japanese sensation, Shohei Ohtani is about to make his journey to the MLB as he has signed a deal with the Los Angeles Angels. The 23 year old was posted by his Japanese baseball team, the Nippon-Ham Fighters about 2 months ago. Ohtani is a hitter and a pitcher, which is rare because pitchers usually cannot hit and vice versa.

Ohtani made it clear in early December that he was not in it for the money and prefered to sign with a small market, west coast team. This makes the Angels the perfect team. Many believed he would sign with either the San Diego Padres or the Seattle Mariners, who both fit the agenda. However, Ohtani was intrigued by the presentation given by the Angels which ultimately led him to signing with the team.

Shohei Ohtani will wear number 17. In a press conference, he said through a Japanese translator, “I actually wanted number 27, but it was already taken.” That number belongs to Angels superstar Mike Trout, which many believe can be a reason he signed with the team. Trout, originally from Millville, New Jersey, is said to be the league’s best player, but now has competition from his own teammate. The Los Angeles Angels went 80-82 in 2017 missing the final wildcard spot by 5 games and placing in 2nd in their division. Now with Ohtani, they will have a much better chance at making the playoffs in 2018.

Many fans believe Ohtani will be the next Babe Ruth but Ohtani would beg to differ. ¨In no way do I think I’m at his level. Today is the real starting point for me, and I just hope to get as close to him as possible.¨ Ohtani stated at the conference. He has serious potential to become the league’s top player. Although he says differently, his stats speak differently.

As a hitter, Ohtani posted a .322/.403/.540 slash line which is his batting average on-base percentage and slugging percentage. For those you do not know, those are spectacular numbers he had while playing in Japan in 2017. Ohtani didn’t pitch much in 2017 but in 2016 his numbers were absurd. In 140 innings, he had a 1.86 ERA which is better than every MLB pitcher in 2016 as Kyle Hendricks had a 2.13 ERA and led the MLB to put in into comparison. Along with that, Ohtani averaged 11.2 strikeout per 9 innings and a 0.957 WHIP. As Shohei Ohtani makes his way to the MLB, he will most definitely attempt to keep his numbers at such a high rate.

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