Shohei (show-HEY) Ohtani (oh-TAWN-ee)...Appeared on the cover of GQ Magazine during February 2022...Featured in a segment on “60 Minutes” on CBS in 2017...In recognition of his 2021 American League MVP honors, the Tokyo Tower was lit in Angels colors...Tower changed at precisely 5:17 p.m. in Tokyo in honor of his jersey number...In October, 2021, MLB announced his jersey was the ninth most popular according to sales throughout the season... An autographed 2021 Ohtani All-Star jersey was auctioned off by Major League Baseball and closed at $130,210, making it the highest-priced item on MLB Auctions, dating to 2001...Was one of six players featured on the front of the MLB league offices in New York during the 2021 season...Father, Toru, played baseball for a semipro team sponsored by the local Mitsubishi plant in Ōshū, Japan...Mother, Kayoko, was a competitive badminton player...In Dec. 2017, a limited edition Ohtani baseball card sold 17,323 copies in 24 hours, setting a new Topps Now record...Was on 28-man roster for Japan’s team at 2017 World Baseball Classic, but withdrew due to an ankle injury...Played for Japanese National Team in 2015 Premier 12...During start against eventual champion South Korea, carried a no-hitter into seventh inning...Named All-Star starting pitcher for the event...Following 2014 season, selected to Japanese national team, Samurai Japan, and participated in All-Star Series against a team of Major League All-Stars...Was starting pitcher Nov. 18, 2014, at Sapporo Dome, opposing Angels RHP Matt Shoemaker, who started for MLB...Wore jersey number 11 with Fighters, previously worn by Yu Darvish... Attended Hanamaki Higashi High School in Iwate Prefecture...Participated in National High School Baseball Championship in 2011 and National High School Baseball Invitational Tournament in 2012...Favorite hitter is Hideki Matsui and favorite pitcher is Yu Darvish...“Sho” from his given name comes from a soaring image of the military commander Minamoto no Yoshitsune (1159- 1189), who is associated with the Ōshū and Hiraizumi areas, while “hei” comes from a reading of the first kanji character used in the name “Hiraizumi.”
Named the unanimous winner of the American League MVP Award during fourth big league season with the Angels...Garnered all 30 first-place votes for a total of 420 points and 151 ahead of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (269 points)...Became the 19th unanimous winner of a BBWAA MVP Award (11th in A.L. history) and the first in the A.L. since Mike Trout in 2014...Joined Ichiro Suzuki (2001) as the only Japanese-born players to win the award...Claimed the sixth MVP award in franchise history, joining Don Baylor (1979), Vladimir Guerrero (2004) and Mike Trout (2014, 2016, 2019)...Received the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award following the season...Was just the 16th recipient of the award, which was established in 1998 to recognize accomplishments and contributions of historical significance... For additional information and full list of honorees...Led the Majors with a 9.1 bWAR this season (second highest A.L. total was Marcus Semien – 7.3).
HITTING: Ranked in the Top 10 in the American League in triples (8; 1st), extra-base hits (80; 2nd), slugging (.592; 2nd), OPS (.965; 2nd), home runs (46; 3rd), walks (96; 3rd), total bases (318; T4th), stolen bases (26; 5th), OBP (.372; 5th) and runs scored (103; 8th)...46 home runs were the second-most in franchise history, trailing only Troy Glaus (47 HR)...Set new career highs in nearly every offensive category including games, hits, runs, doubles, triples, home runs, RBI, walks, intentional walks, stolen bases and OPS...Was the fourth player all-time and first American Leaguer to tally 45 HR, 100 RBI, 100 R and 25 stolen bases in a single season: Barry Bonds in 1993, Larry Walker in 1997, Chipper Jones in 1999...Joined Jose Canseco (1998) as one of two players in American League history with 45+ HR and 25+ SB in a season...One of six players in American League history with 45+ HR and 8+ triples in a season, joining Hall of Famers Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Jimmie Foxx and Jim Rice...Established new single-season home run record for a Japanese-born player (previously 31 by Hideki Matsui in 2004)...Set an A.L. record with 16 HR in a 21-game span (June 15-July 9) and was the first player in Major League history with 32+ HR and 12+ SB before the All-Star Break...Hit a home run into the Right Field Upper Deck at TMobile Park (Seattle) on July 9, 2021...According to Mariners PR, it was the sixth time a ball landed in the RF Upper Deck and at 463 feet, it was the third-longest ever at the ballpark...Tallied 103 runs to become the first Halo to reach the 100-run mark other than Trout since Chone Figgins in 2009... Is just the third Japanese native to score 100 runs in a season, joining Ichiro Suzuki (8 times) and Hideki Matsui (3 times)...Was intentionally walked 20 times, good for fifth-most in franchise history...On Sept. 10, became the first American League pitcher to be intentionally walked since Jim Kaat on Sept. 1, 1970...Was intentionally walked twice as a pitcher.
PITCHING: Finished the season 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA (130.1 IP – 46 ER) and 156 strikeouts...Led American League with a .818 winning percentage, ranked third with a .207 opponent batting average, was fifth with 10.77 strikeouts per nine innings and ranked 10th with a 28.9% swing and miss rate (min. 125 IP)...Went 6-0 with a 1.95 ERA (78.1 IP – 17 ER) and 93 strikeouts in 13 home starts...Opponents batted .087 (11/127) against his splitter; lowest batting average for any pitch in the Majors (min. 110 PA)...Was the first Angels pitcher to tally 150 strikeouts in a single season since Andrew Heaney (180) in 2018 and first right-hander to do so since Garrett Richards in 2015 (176).
TWO-WAY: Made 14 pitching starts while also holding at least a share of the Major League home run lead...Was the first pitcher to make multiple pitching starts in a season while leading Majors in home runs since Babe Ruth (1919)...Was the first player in MLB history to record 10+ HR as a hitter and 100+ strikeouts as a pitcher in the same season and the first 20+ stolen bases and 10+ pitching appearances in the same season...Batted for himself in 20 of 23 pitching starts; first pitcher ever to hit for himself 3+ times in games where a DH is available...Aug. 18 at Detroit, tossed eight innings allowing one run on six hits with eight strikeouts and hit his 40th home run of the season...Saw action in seven games in the outfield...Marked first time at a position other than DH or pitcher in the Majors.
SHO RATINGS...Led the Majors with 25 home runs with a 110+ MPH exit velocity...Owned the Majors’ fastest home to first springtime at 4.09 seconds...On April 4 vs. White Sox, tossed three pitches at 100+ MPH and hit a 451 ft. home run with a 115.2 MPH exit velocity in the same inning...On Sept. 29, hit a 109 MPH single which broke the glove of Rangers second baseman Andy Ibáñez.
ALL-STAR GAME: First MLB player to ever be selected to the All-Star Game as both a pitcher and position player...Started the All-Star Game as both the A.L. starting pitcher and starting DH...Earned the win for the A.L. after working a perfect 1st inning...Went 0-for-2 at the plate...Competed in the Home Run Derby and totaled 28 home runs, including six 500+ ft. HR (most in the Statcast era)...Was the first player who made a pitching start during MLB career to participate in a Home Run Derby and was the first Japanese-born player to participate in the derby...Marked seventh Angel to participate in the Derby and first since Albert Pujols in 2015...Fielded calls from both Albert Pujols and Mike Trout during the actual event.
Completed third season with the Angels, appearing in 46 games as a designated hitter and two as a pitcher...Led the Club in stolen bases for the second straight season...82.6% stolen base percentage (19 SB / 27 attempts) since the start of the 2019 campaign is tied for seventh in the American League...Finished tied for second on the Club with five go-ahead RBI, trailing only Trout’s 11...Limited to two starts as a pitcher...Aug. 3, was diagnosed with a grade 1-2 strain of the flexor pronator mass...Focused exclusively on hitting the remainder of the season.
Spent second season with the Angels serving as the Club's primary DH...Surpassed rookie offensive totals in games, hits, triples, RBI and stolen bases...Led the Club with 12 steals....Joined Hideki Matsui and Tadahito Iguchi as the only Japanese natives to tally multiple 15 home run seasons in the Majors...On June 13th, became the 7th player (8th occurrence) in franchise history to hit for the cycle…First Halo to turn the trick since Mike Trout, May 21, 2013 vs. Seattle…First Japanese-born player in Major League history to hit for the cycle…Had never hit for the cycle in career (including NPB)...Joined Hall of Famer George Sisler (5 wins, 2 cycles) as the only players in the modern era (since 1900) to win multiple games as a pitcher and also hit for the cycle in career...Missed the first 34 games of the season while recovering from Tommy John surgery...Activated from the I.L. May 7th.
In first season with Angels, was named American League Rookie of the Year as voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) after finishing with 137 points in the balloting process, including 25 of 30 first place votes... Became third player in Angels history to earn Rookie of the Year honors, joining Tim Salmon (1993) and Mike Trout (2012)...Became fourth Japanese-born player to win a Rookie of the Year Award in Major Leagues, joining Hideo Nomo (1995), Kazuhiro Sasaki (2000) and Ichiro Suzuki (2001)... Named American League Rookie of the Month in April and September... Earned American League Player of the Week honors twice (April 2-8 and Sept. 3-9)... Became first player in Major League history to hit 15+ HR and compile 50+ pitching strikeouts in a season... Joined Babe Ruth (1918 & 1919) as the only players since 1900 with 10+ HR and 4+ wins as a pitcher in a single campaign. Ruth is also the only other player to hit 15+ home runs and pitch 50+ innings in a season... Established new home run record for a Japanese-born rookie (previous was 18 by Kenji Johjima in 2006)... Is the first player since Jimmy Ryan of the 1888 Chicago White Stockings to record 15+ home runs, 10+ stolen bases and three pitching appearances in a single season... Led all American League rookies with a combined 3.8 fWAR... Became first player to start as a pitcher and a non-pitcher within same season since Rick Rhoden (Yankees) in 1988 (30 starts as pitcher, one as DH). (STATS LLC).... Had the eighth most popular (4th in A.L.) selling player jersey according to MLB.
Led A.L. rookies (min. 300 PA) in OPS (.925), on-base percentage (.361), and slugging percentage (.564) and posted the best rates of at-bats per home run (14.82) and RBI (5.34)... Became the seventh rookie in American League history to post a .925 OPS with 10 stolen bases in a single season, joining Mike Trout (2012), Mitchell Page (1977), Fred Lynn (1975), Earl Averill (1929), Ben Paschal (1925) and Shoeless Joe Jackson (1911)... Is just the second Japanese native with a 20 home run season, joining Hideki Matsui (5 times, once in 2010 with the Angels) and the only native of Japan with a 20 HR/10 SB campaign... Joined Devon White (1987) and Mike Trout (2012) as the only rookies in Club annals with a 20 HR/10 SB rookie campaign... Earned first career win April 1st and then hit a home run in his next start April 3rd...Was the first player to earn a win and then homer in his next start as a non-pitcher since Babe Ruth in 1921... 15 of 22 home runs came after the All-Star break, tied for third most in the A.L...Only rookie in franchise history to hit more homers after the break was Mike Trout in 2012 (18 HR)... Collected first hit in first start as a position player, March 29 at Oakland.
Set Angels record with 63 strikeouts through first 10 career starts (previous was 56 strikeouts by Bo Belinsky in 1962)... Held opponents to an .036 (2/55) batting average against his splitter...Opponents had a swing and miss rate of 55.8% against the splitter and he recorded 35 of 63 strikeouts with the pitch... Became third pitcher all-time with 11-or-more strikeouts in two of first six career games pitched, joining Brooklyn's Karl Spooner (1954) & Cubs Kerry Wood (1998)... Carried perfect game into 7th inning Apr. 8 vs. Oakland in first pitching start at Angel Stadium...Had stretch of 27 consecutive batters retired between starts on Apr. 1 & Apr. 8 (both vs. A's)... Had average fastball velocity of 96.7 MPHcTopped 98 MPH with 110 of 396 fastballs, including seven pitches at 100+ MPH... Recorded 57 of 63 (90.5%) strikeouts on a swinging strike three, which was the highest rate in Majors (min. 50 IP). Among MLB pitchers to make at least five starts, his 35.1% swing and miss rate led the Majors... In five starts in day games, went 4-0 with a 2.18 ERA (33 IP - 8 ER) with 44 strikeouts... Allowed three-or-fewer runs in nine of 10 starts overall.
In fifth season with Nippon-Ham Fighters, posted career-high .332 batti ng average (67/202) ... Started All-Star Game for Pacific League as designated hitter ... Limited to 65 games at designated hitter and five starts as a pitcher due to an ankle injury ... Signed with Angels as international free agent, Dec. 9, 2017 ... Named by Baseball America as Angels' top prospect entering 2018 and is rated as #2 prospect in all of baseball ... Designated as the #1 prospect in all of baseball by MLB.com for the 2018 campaign.
Named Pacific League Most Valuable Player and helped lead Nippon-Ham Fighters to the Pacific League Championship ... Posted a career-best 1.86 ERA (140 IP - 29 ER)...Finished three innings pitched shy of qualifying for league leaders, and would have led Pacific League in ERA for second consecutive season if he qualified...Also registered 174 strikeouts (third most in league) in his 21 games (20 starts) on the mound ... Registered finest season at the plate, batting .322 (104/323) with 18 doubles, 22 home runs and 67 RBI in 104 total games, primarily as a designated hitter ... Honored with Best Nine Award as a pitcher and as a designated hitter ... Started at designated hitter for Pacific League in All-Star Game and earned MVP honors after going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI.
In third season with Nippon-Ham Fighters, was selected to start All-Star Game as a pitcher for second consecutive season ... Finished year leading Pacific League in wins (15), ERA (2.24), complete games (five) and shutouts (three)...Ranked second in league in strikeouts (196) ... Earned first Best Nine Award as top pitcher in Pacific League ... Finished third in MVP voti ng behind Yuki Yanagita and Shogo Akiyama...Was a finalist for the Sawamura Award, given annually to top pitcher in Pacifi c and Central Leagues ... Along with catcher, Shota Ono, earned Pacific League Battery Award.
With Nippon-Ham Fighters, became first Japanese player to reach double digits in both home runs (10) and wins (11) ... Became first pitcher drafted out of high school to notch two shutout victories within his first two years in NPB since Yu Darvish ... Was starting pitcher for Pacific League in All-Star Game and established record for fastest pitch (101 mph) thrown by a Japanese pitcher.
Made Pacific League debut at age 18 with Nippon-Ham Fighters Mar. 29, 2013 on Opening Day as a right fielder ... Became first NPB pitcher since Takao Kajimoto in 1963 to bat 3rd, 4th or 5th in the order and first rookie hurler to do so since Junzo Sekine in 1950 ... Voted by fans into All-Star Game ... Finished second in NPB Rookie of the Year Award voting, behind Takahiro Norimoto ... Led Fighters with 51 games played in right field and also made 11 starts as a pitcher ... Briefly missed time during year with a right ankle sprain and right cheekbone fracture.