Shohei Ohtani is treating MLB fans to something they have never seen before. The Japanese two-way superstar has been one of the best players in the MLB since his debut in 2018. Not only is he one of the best hitters in baseball, but Ohtani ranks among the top pitchers in every statistical category.
"The most similar player to Ohtani since 2021: Offensively: Guerrero: .908 OPS, 149 wRC+, Ohtani: .918 OPS, 146 wRC+. Pitching: Alcantara: 2.71 ERA, 3.19 FIP, Ohtani: 2.70 ERA, 2.89 FIP. He might be the most talented player in the history of the game" - Cardinals Stats and Facts
While Ohtani has undoubtedly been blessed with undeniable skill, his family's athletic lineage may have also helped the Japanese superstar become one of the best players in the league.
Shohei is the son of former star athletes Toru and Kayoko Ohtani. His father, Toru, was a semi-professional baseball outfielder in the Japanese Industrial League. Toru helped coach Shohei as he began playing baseball during his childhood.
"Shohei Ohtani's parents were in attendance today, just like they were on opening day when he got a hit in his first plate appearance." - Justin Russo
Kayoko, Shohei Ohtani's mother, was also an impressive athlete when she was younger. Kayoko was a national-level high school badminton player who spent time playing for non-professional clubs throughout her life.
"the pride on his parents face you just know mr and mrs ohtani are so damn proud of their boy" - @VforVintageVera
While Ohtani is a once-in-a-lifetime talent, his father Toru said Shohei enjoyed a "very ordinary, really just ordinary" upbringing in Japan, and that kindness was key to Shohei's development as a player and a man. Being one of the most likable superstars in baseball, it is clear that Toru and Kayoko did an incredible job raising the former American League MVP.
Shohei Ohtani's accolades in the MLB
Now five seasons into his MLB career, Ohtani has been one of the best players in the league, while playing for one of the worst teams, the Los Angeles Angels. In that time, he has won the AL Rookie of the Year, a Silver Slugger award, and the American League MVP in 2021.
A two-time All-Star, Shohei Ohtani was also the first player in MLB history to be an All-Star as both a pitcher and a hitter when he was named a starter in the 2021 All-Star Game in both capacities.
Now, Ohtani and his pending free agency will dominate the headlines this coming season. While it is unknown where he will sign, the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, and San Diego Padres have already announced their intention to sign the two-way star, no matter the cost.