Ohtani: 'I made the right decision' joining Halos

Two-way star looks back on historic rookie season with Angels

September 30th, 2018

ANAHEIM -- surprised many last offseason by choosing to sign with the Angels following a whirlwind courtship from nearly every Major League team. While Ohtani lived up to the hype in his historic rookie campaign, the Angels did not, falling short of the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season.
Still, Ohtani said he has no regrets about his decision to come to Anaheim.
"I feel like I made the right decision," Ohtani said through interpreter Ippei Mizuhara prior to Sunday's regular-season finale against the A's. "Every day I come to the field, every game I play, I feel more and more like I made the right decision."
Ohtani, a frontrunner for the American League Rookie of the Year Award, entered the Angels' final game of the season batting .286 with a .930 OPS, 22 home runs, 61 RBIs and 10 stolen bases in 363 plate appearances as a left-handed hitter. Before a damaged ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow ended his season as a pitcher, Ohtani also logged a 3.31 ERA over 10 starts, racking up 63 strikeouts over 51 2/3 innings.

To put that in perspective, Ohtani and Babe Ruth (1919) are the only players in MLB history to make 10 pitching appearances and hit 20 home runs in a single season.
"What Shohei has done is not easy," manager Mike Scioscia said. "What he's done is exceptional. He's an exceptional talent."

Ohtani will have to put his two-way endeavor on hold for the near future, as he will undergo Tommy John surgery later this week that will keep him off the mound until the 2020 season. Still, the 24-year-old said he feels like he's only scratching the surface of his potential, which bodes well for the Angels.
"Ever since Spring Training, the one thing I really felt was that I still have a lot of room to grow," Ohtani said. "I felt that even more than my time in Japan, so that's one thing that I've learned about myself."