Ohtani, 27, did the unthinkable once again Wednesday night. He went eight full innings, allowing just six hits and one earned run with 8 K against the Tigers. Oh, and he also hit an absolute bomb of a home run in the top of the eighth to build the Angels’ lead.
Ohtani is now 8-1 with a 2.79 ERA on the mound while batting .269 with 87 RBI and a league-leading 40 home runs so far this season. He’s got the AL MVP in the bag, barring a late-season collapse. It may be time to consider how Ohtani’s 2021 performance measures up to other all-time great individual seasons.
During Thursday’s edition of ESPN’s Get Up, Greenberg posed the question: is Shohei Ohtani having the greatest individual season in baseball history? Baseball insider Jeff Passan shared his thoughts.
“We have not seen anyone like this in history,” Passan answered. “The only thing I hope for is that Shohei Ohtani stays healthy because that is all that’s keeping him from being brilliant year after year.”
What do you think, baseball fans?
.@espngreeny wants to know if Shohei Ohtani is having the greatest individual season in baseball history 🤔
"What Ohtani is doing so greatly surpasses anything Babe Ruth does, it's not even close!" pic.twitter.com/Pd0wjtWjN9
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) August 19, 2021
Statistically speaking, several other all-time greats have had better individual seasons. It’s probably too early to call Shohei Ohtani’s 2021 performance the greatest in baseball history. Swap out “best” with “most impressive” and you might have a better argument.
Ohtani is one of the few to even garner a comparison to the legend himself, Babe Ruth. Some argue Ohtani’s accomplishments are far superior to Babe’s because of the differences between baseball then and now. We’ll leave that argument for the fans.
Regardless, what Ohtani is doing this season is nothing short of remarkable. Enjoy it while it lasts.