We all love it when there’s an opportunity to use the #PitchersWhoRake hashtag, but Los Angeles Angels two-way player Shohei Ohtani has brought a whole other meaning to it during the 2018 season.
Sure, he’s only appeared as a pitcher once since the beginning of June and is now potentially facing a long road back to the mound via Tommy John surgery, but that hasn’t stopped him from raking at the plate. He showed us the kind of focus he has on the day it was announced he may need to go under the knife by staying in the lineup and belting two homers a few hours later.
Ohtani’s production on offense has run a little deeper than just this one game, though. He’s been a rousing success overall at the plate — entering Sunday’s action, he’s the proud owner of a .290/.372/.592 triple slash with 19 home runs, and 53 RBI in just 289 plate appearances, which is good for a 161 wRC+.
But the dude’s been on another planet since the start of August.
Who needs a UCL?
Since 8/1, Shohei Ohtani is hitting .356/.447/.808 with 10 HR and 25 RBI in 27 games. pic.twitter.com/rBEVOb4Doq
— MLB Stat of the Day (@MLBStatoftheDay) September 8, 2018
So if some quick math is done, you can see that just about half of his offensive production for the entire season has happened in the last five weeks. If we include Saturday’s game, he’s actually hit more homers and driven in more runs over his past 90 plate appearances than his first 199.
Mental math is hard for me, so here’s the quick breakdown because I like tables.
Ohtani has even thrown in six stolen bases since the start of August after swiping just two bags in the four months prior for good measure.
It’s a huge bummer that he can’t finish out the year as a two-way player due to his injury, especially when he ends up on lists like these.
AL Highest SLG (250+ PA)
J.D. Martinez .639
Mookie Betts .627
Mike Trout .604
Shohei Ohtani . 586
Jose Ramirez .583
AL SP Lowest Opp BA (50+ IP)
Chris Sale .175
Blake Snell .188
Carlos Rodon .188
Gerrit Cole .197
Shohei Ohtani .203
Trevor Bauer .205
— James Smyth (@JamesSmyth621) September 8, 2018
What we can enjoy for now, though, is Ohtani the hitter, as he’ll finish the year in that role while deciding exactly how he wants to approach the situation with his throwing arm. For now, let’s just sit back and watch him continue punishing baseballs for the last three weeks of the season.
About Matt Musico
Matt currently manages Chin Music Baseball and contributes to The Sports Daily. His past work has been featured at numberFire, Yahoo! Sports and Bleacher Report. He’s also written a book about how to become a sports blogger. You can sign up for his email newsletter here.