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It wasn’t supposed to happen, but Shohei Ohtani is defying the laws of baseball.

Ohtani is a two-way player for the Los Angeles Angels. He is both a starting pitcher and a designated hitter. As a pitcher, he currently has an ERA of 3.49 with 87 strikeouts in 67 innings. As a hitter, Ohtani leads the league in home runs with 32. Not since the days of the legendary Babe Ruth have baseball fans and pundits talked about a successful two-way player the way Ohtani is being talked about now. Ohtani is breaking barriers and may change the way ball clubs view players.

Thanks to his success thus far in the 2021 season, Ohtani has made the All-Star game as both a pitcher and a hitter. He will also compete in the Home Run Derby. Ohtani grew up in Ōshū, Iwate, Japan. He pitched for the Hanamaki Higashi High School baseball team. He also served as a hitter and in the 18U Baseball World Championship series back in 2012, Ohtani threw 16 strikeouts, had five hits, and drove in five runs. Ohtani initially made the decision to go straight to the MLB fresh out of high school. He ended up changing his mind and played for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters in Japan.

As a two-way player for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, Ohtani made it to the All-Star game in each of his five seasons with the team. It became clear around the baseball world that Ohtani was living up to the hype he had in high school. He garnered many accolades in Japan, such as winning the 2016 Japan Series Championship. That same year, Ohtani won the Pacific League MVP. He nabbed the World Baseball Softball Confederation Player of the Year award in 2015. In 2017, Ohtani made the big move to the MLB.

All 30 MLB teams looked to sign Ohtani. Ultimately, the Japanese sensation let the ink dry on a contract made by the Los Angeles Angels. He has already been worth every penny, earning the 2018 AL Rookie of the Year award and having his best MLB season yet in 2021. Simply put, Ohtani is the talk of baseball right now and he’s showing no signs of slowing down.