Shohei Ohtani is already on record battle pace

Starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels reacts after the last out against Keibert Ruiz #20 of the Washington Nationals in the first inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California on April 11, 2023 in Anaheim, California.
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani makes history every time he takes the field.

We already know by now that he pitches like an ace and hits like a top middle-order slugger.

However, we are amazed at how much he can still improve.

In 2021, he had a good 3.18 ERA but was a monster with 46 homers; a performance that earned him the MVP award.

Last year, he was a bit poor as a hitter with 34 long balls and a low OPS, but took a step forward on the mound and posted a 2.33 ERA and 219 strikeouts.

Will this be the year in which he reaches unprecedented levels of excellence in both the pursuits and shatters the war record?

Wins Above Replacement, or WAR, is an all-inclusive statistic that combines hitting, fielding, and on-base contributions to determine how much better a player is than a “replacement-level” player.

There is also a version for pitchers.

In the specific case of Ohtani, if we add WAR to his hitting and pitching results from the 2021 season, his MVP year, we get 8.9.

Only a handful of games into the 2023 campaign, he’s already at 1.6 bWAR (the Baseball Reference version of the stat; FanGraphs has a slightly different one called fWAR).

Shohei Ohtani has averaged 1.6 BWAR in 11 games so far this season. That’s 23.6 combat speed. He may legitimately have the greatest season in professional baseball history this year. This is not normal,” tweeted MLB Metrics.

Of course it’s not normal, we’re talking about Ohtani!

Stats like a 0.47 ERA or 23.6 WAR season are not sustainable.

However, it’s fair to say that he’s well on his way to a career year before he even hits free agency.

He will be a very rich man next winter.

Shohei Ohtani Is Already Having Another Legendary Season