Mike Trout is one of the best baseball players in history, and has been for a long time. He’s also one of the most humble players in MLB, which is why he was able to describe what it’s like to be Shohei Ohtani without any ego.
Mike Trout perfectly describes the greatness of Shohei Ohtani, who’s going to win AL MVP in a walk despite not being in the top 300 in MLB salary.
Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels has been the greatest all-around player in Major League Baseball for the better part of a decade. And, to be honest, it hasn’t been all that close. The three-time AL MVP, on the other hand, may no longer be the greatest player on his own club. Shohei Ohtani has not only been all the Angels hoped he would be when they brought him to the United States a few years ago, but he has gone above and beyond.
Maybe it’s not fair to call Ohtani the greatest player in baseball, particularly considering Trout has only played 36 games since suffering a calf injury in May. Ohtani, on the other hand, has been outstanding in 2021, both at the bat and on the mound. So, with Trout out, Ohtani has been the greatest player in baseball this year.
He’s almost a certainty to earn AL MVP, which he should win despite the Angels’ likelihood of missing the playoffs for the eighth consecutive season. And Ohtani has been a steal for the Dodgers, with a salary that isn’t even in the top 300 in the league. But what makes Shohei’s amazing season even better is that Trout seems unconcerned that his buddy has become baseball’s greatest star. In fact, the nine-time All-Star recently praised Shohei by eloquently expressing his admiration for him.
Shohei Ohtani should win the American League MVP award in a walk-off.
The only genuine competition for Ohtani in the AL MVP race is Toronto Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who still has a chance to win the Triple Crown since he’s in the top five in the American League in batting average (.309), home runs (36), and runs batted in (80). (90).
Shohei, on the other hand, is in the top five in two of those categories, as he leads Major League Baseball with 41 home runs and is fourth with 89 RBIs. He also leads the AL in slugging percentage (.628) and is third in MLB in OPS (.993), behind only Guerrero Jr. (.999) and Fernando Tatis Jr. (1.014), both of whom are vying for the NL MVP.
Shohei’s batting average is only.267, but it’s his efforts on the mound that really distinguish him. Ohtani is 8-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 19 starts for the Angels this season, with 127 strikeouts and just 39 walks. The 27-year-old can do it all, which is why Trout characterized him in such a way lately.
Trout compares Ohtani to a Little Leaguer.
Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels celebrate after Ohtani’s ninth-inning home run against the Boston Red Sox on May 16, 2021 | Getty Images/Kathryn Riley
While baseball fans all around the world have praised Ohtani’s performance with the Angels this season, Trout has been as thrilled with his teammate. He was recently questioned about Shohei’s flexibility, and he summed up Ohtani’s brilliance well.
“It reminds me of Little League. You get Ohtani, you pitch eight innings, you smash a home run, and you go to right field. I’ve never seen it before… It’s incredible.”
Shohei Ohtani, a Los Angeles Angels teammate, on Mike Trout
Mr. Trout, that is correct. But what’s even more remarkable is that the Angles haven’t had to pay Ohtani any money during his breakout season. By MLB standards, it’s not a lot of money.
Shohei is the 304th highest-paid player in Major League Baseball.
While Trout will have the highest pay in Major League Baseball in 2021, at $37,166,667, Ohtani will not be in the top ten in that category. Alternatively, the top 100. Alternatively, the top 200. Shohei’s salary isn’t even in the top 300 in MLB. At a price of $3 million, it’s a bargain. Ohtani is presently baseball’s 304th highest-paid player.
In 2022, his pay will increase to $5.5 million, and he will be eligible for arbitration before the 2023 season. He’d then be an unrestricted free agent, but the Angels are unlikely to wait until then to sign him to what we can only presume would be a huge contract.
Baseball Reference provided the stats, while Spotrac provided the contract information.
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