Shohei Otani: MVP for Two Consecutive Years with a 10-Year 68 Billion Yen Contract | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Shohei Otani: MVP for Two Consecutive Years with a 10-Year 68 Billion Yen Contract

Shohei Ohtani is on track to surpass Babe Ruth, and is aiming for the most wins and 40 homers in the second half of the season!

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Otani was welcomed by 50,000 spectators at the All-Star Game. As the face of baseball, Otani was surrounded by fans and media everywhere he went.

Otani will continue to win the MVP award for the next five years, and I’d even change the name of the award to the Autani Award.

Shohei Otani, 28, of the Angels, has been on a roll this season, as evidenced by his performance against Red Sox starter J.D. Martinez, 34, who went 9-5 with a 2.00 ERA as of July 24. He has hit .259 with 20 home runs. Ohtani has already passed the “10 wins and 10 home runs” mark, which would make him the first player since Babe Ruth to do so.

What kind of play will he show in the second half of the season, which began on July 22? Nachi Tomonari, a sportswriter, predicts that “Otani the Pitcher” will be a big contributor.

Nachi Tomonari, a sportswriter, predicts the success of “pitcher Otani” as follows: “This season, his ‘Frisbee Slider,’ which slides from right to left, is his weapon. It is a magic pitch that maximizes the change by throwing it a little more in the third quarter than the conventional pitching form. The new slider also makes the four-seam and curveball stand out. I think he will continue to win games in the second half of the season using his magic pitch as a weapon.

Major League Baseball critic Ryoichi Fukushima has high hopes that he will win the Cy Young Award for the most wins and become the first Japanese to win the Cy Young Award.

He said, “From now on, they will not play the Braves, who have the best lineup this season, tied for the most runs allowed this season with six, but rather they will play 12 games against the poor hitting Athletics. If he keeps this up, he could win the most games. He also ranks ninth in the league in defensive rating and fifth in strikeouts. A Cy Young Award would be a dream come true.

What about Otani the hitter?

The fact is, the majors have completely switched to a ball that doesn’t fly. In that situation, 20 hits is not bad at all. This year, he has been able to distribute the pace throughout the year based on last year’s experience, such as avoiding pitching in the All-Star game. In the second half of the season, we can expect more home runs than in the first half.

If he wins the most games and hits 40 home runs, he could become the MVP for the second year in a row. Mr. Tomonari said.

Before the start of the second half, CBS, a major U.S. television network, reported that Ohtani was the MVP of the first half of the season. Otani was voted No. 1 by a full vote. In WAR, an important indicator in the selection process, he was ranked second, just ahead of his rival, Aaron Judge (30) of the Yankees. His chances of accomplishing this feat are increasing.

On the other hand, the team’s form has been slow to improve. The Angels are in fourth place in the A League West and are out of playoff contention. A battle for Ohtani, whose contract expires in 23 years, is already underway behind the scenes for the highest price in history.

‘There is no doubt that the new contract will set an all-time high. The Nationals’ offer of $440 million for 15 years to Juan Soto (23), which was reported in July, has been surpassed by a 10-year, $500 million deal. The Nationals have offered $440 million for 10 years, which is more than the $6 billion that the Nationals offered to Juan Soto in July.
I personally recommend the Yankees because they are a winning team and have a lot of money. I think the Yankees are going to try to get Soto, who refused to sign a huge contract with the Nationals, but if they can’t get him, they will go for Ohtani. However, as long as he is expected to be an ace as well, he must pitch 4 days out of the middle of the year. The current five-day rotation is superhuman, but Ohtani has made the impossible possible. There is a good chance that he will position this as a new challenge and move to a new team.

Which team will be his opponent? Tomonari mentioned the names of three teams.

The Mets and Mariners, who can pitch in the same rotation as now and are looking for a starting pitcher and a left-handed cannon, are possible contenders. But the Angels aren’t going quietly, either. The Mets and Mariners are looking for a left-handed cannon and a pitcher who can pitch in the same plateau as Rothe. If Ohtani is not a world champion but a two-sport athlete, it would not be surprising if he chooses to play for a team he is familiar with.

What kind of decision will Otani make? The only thing that is certain is that this season will also go down in history.

This season has been an awakening in terms of pitching. He hit 163 km/h, his fastest in the majors, and also achieved double-digit strikeouts in five consecutive games, the longest streak in Japan.
Before the All-Star game, he and Judge had a chat. I would like to see them play together as the best duo.

From the August 12, 2022 issue of FRIDAY

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