Today, Japanese two-way star Shonei Ohtani chose to sign with the Angels after a heavy courtship from numerous interested teams. Ohtani will arrive in the big as the most hyped Japanese baseball star ever, and it’s mostly because many contend he can successfully pitch and hit like he did in the Japanese League.
No player has ever broken into Major League Baseball as a bona fide two-way talent, but many think ‘The Japanese Babe Ruth’ might be able to pull it off. In 2016, he hit .322 with 22 homers while playing the outfield and DH’ing, and went 10-4 with a 1.86 ERA on the mound.
This dude is a freak, he’s got a stroke like Ichiro with more power, and his fastball has been clocked at an Aroldis Chapman-esque 102 MPH. He can also fly on the base paths.
Maybe he can’t make it playing both ways, but these highlights will convince you he’s got a shot.
Here’s Ohtani hitting a bomb into the Tokyo Dome roof: