Ohtani Shohei (29‧LA Angels) had a strong desire to be both a pitcher and a hitter after joining the pros. Nippon Ham also won Ohtani’s heart by professing to support such a dream.
In fact, Japan did not welcome it from the beginning. It is certain that it is a huge talent, but the logic was that the probability of success is low in modern baseball, where division of labor between pitching and hitting, as well as selection and bullpen division, is made. Rather, there was a great concern that I might miss both rabbits. Even the elders were dissatisfied with it, saying, “Focus on only one thing.”
However, Ohtani did not give up on that dream, and Nippon Ham also laid out the board as much as possible. The result was a paradigm revolution in modern baseball. Ohtani, who underwent elbow surgery, began to open the era of successful pitching and hitting in earnest in the major leagues from 2021. He is an All-Star both as a hitter and as a pitcher. To find a player like this in major league history, you have to go all the way back to Babe Ruth.
The value of Ohtani is beyond imagination. As a club, there is nothing bad about roster management. The starting schedule needs to be adjusted, but it is natural to have a player who can play both pitcher and fielder. So, even in the United States, the eyes to find the ‘second Ohtani’ are moving busily. But it’s not easy either.
The level of difficulty is evident in the case of Michael Lorenzen (31, Detroit), who was called “American Ohtani.” Lorenzen was also a player who was good enough to be counted as both a pitcher and a hitter during his amateur days. Major league scouts saw him as having the ability to succeed in the big leagues on both fronts. He chose to pitch, but occasionally batted when the opportunity arose. Since he played for a long time in the National League, where there is no designated hitter rule, he had quite a few opportunities to bat. He also hit 7 home runs.
Lorenzen also often expressed his will to work both two and other. In 2018, he also had 31 at-bats as a hitter, with a batting average of 0.290, 4 home runs, and 10 RBIs, and had more than a pitcher’s batting performance. However, doing both well is difficult. Rather, it is not easy to do one well.
Lorenzen, who has not played as a hitter since 2021 and is focusing on pitching, has only 28 innings in the first 5 games this season, with an average ERA of 4.18 with 1 win and 2 losses. It’s not that he has bad grades, but it’s also clear that he doesn’t have enough room to think of a two-hitter job. 토토사이트
Then, when will the ‘second Ohtani’ comparable to Ohtani come out? Given the current trend, it is unlikely that Ohtani will be the last player to double pitch and hit, but it is generally expected that it will take a little longer.
Currently, there are cases in which amateur players in the United States also pitch and hit together. Aces are like that. They usually give up one at the last stage. However, as long as he has a role model named Ohtani, he doesn’t have to put his talent into one. Now that we have seen Ohtani’s success story, top talents will take on the challenge of both pitching and hitting and have dreams, and there is a high possibility that leaders will push rather than say ‘no’ like in the past.
However, there is still a lot of time left for young players who grew up watching Ohtani to come to the major leagues, and it is not yet known how many players with perfection like Ohtani will appear. Ohtani’s greatness is clearly revealed even in this reality.