Japanese player does something no one has done since Babe Ruth


This is cool. Shohei Otani of the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters just became the first player to win 10 or more games as a pitcher and hit 10 or more home runs during the same season. No one has ever done that in Japan. The only U.S. major leaguer who ever did it was Babe Ruth, who won 13 games and had 11 homers back in 1918. Otani is only 20, by the way.

He also throws 100 miles per hour, which suggests that he’ll probably take the opposite career path from Ruth: moving to full-time pitching instead of full-time hitting. Because while this is fun and neat and all, the NPB is competitive enough, one assumes, that a generalist like that can’t continue to be a generalist and that Otani’s days off from pitching may be better spent developing a consistent routine as opposed to being his team’s DH. Also worth nothing that the Fighters aren’t a very good team this year. If and when they improve or Otani plays for a better club, there will likely be better hitting options than him.

Still: cool.