Shohei Ohtani is one of the most fascinating players in MLB today. He has already made an impact in his first season, and there are still plenty of questions about him.
Here are 15 facts about Shohei Ohtani that will help you understand him better.
1. Shohei Ohtani was born on July 5, 1994, in Oshu, Japan.
2. He began playing baseball at the age of three and started pitching when he was in elementary school.
3. Ohtani attended Hanamaki Higashi High School, where he played both pitcher and infielder. As a senior, he led his team to the national championship game, where they lost to Yuki Saito’s high school team.
4. Ohtani was drafted by the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters in the first round of the 2012 NPB Draft.
5. He made his professional debut with the Fighters in 2013 and quickly established himself as one of the best pitchers in Japan.
6. Ohtani won the Pacific League Rookie of the Year Award in 2013 and was named to the PL All-Star team in 2014 and 2015.
7. He also won the Eiji Sawamura Award, given to the best pitcher in Japan, in both 2014 and 2015.
8. Ohtani underwent Tommy John surgery in October 2014 and missed the entire 2015 season.
9. He came back strong in 2016, posting a 10-4 record with a 1.86 ERA and 174 strikeouts in 140 innings pitched.
10. Ohtani decided to pursue a career in Major League Baseball after the 2017 season and was posted by the Fighters for $20 million.
11. The Los Angeles Angels won the bidding for Ohtani and signed him to a three-year, $2.315 million contract.
12. Ohtani made his MLB debut on March 29, 2018, and homered in his first at-bat. He became the first Japanese player to hit a home run in his first MLB game.
13. On April 1, 2018, Ohtani pitched a seven-inning shutout against the Oakland Athletics, becoming the first Japanese player to win an MLB game as a starting pitcher.
14. On May 6, 2018, Ohtani hit his second career home run, a grand slam off Seattle Mariners pitcher James Paxton. It was the first grand slam by a Japanese-born player in MLB history.
15. Ohtani is the first player since Babe Ruth to pitch and hit a home run in the same week. He’s also the first pitcher since Ruth to hit multiple home runs in a season.
Shohei Ohtani is a once in a generation talent and the baseball world is excited to see what he can do on the mound and at the plate. We’ve compiled 15 facts about Ohtani that will give you a little more insight into this amazing athlete. Be sure to check back as we continue to update this post with new information about Ohtani as he makes his way through Major League Baseball. Did we miss anything? Leave us a comment below and let us know!