‘It’s a hit, a hit!’
The rave reviews for Shohei Ohtani (29, LA Angels), the “baseball genius,” do not end. He was proudly ranked at the top of the US Major League Baseball (MLB) rankings. ESPN, an American sports media outlet, ranked the top 100 players through a vote of experts such as reporters and analysts ahead of the opening of the ‘2023 MLB’ on the 24th (hereinafter Korean time). Ohtani was ranked number one.
Ohtani is the main character who caused a syndrome in the big leagues with his two-time pitching career. Through the ‘2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC)’ that just ended, he has grown into a global icon. He played as both a pitcher and a hitter for the Japanese national team, showing outstanding performance and making a big contribution to lifting the championship trophy. The honor of being the MVP of the tournament also belonged to Ohtani.메이저놀이터
As he proved his worth on the big stage, his presence grew. ESPN said of Ohtani, “He is one of the starting pitchers who dominate the league and is the most feared hitter. He is also one of the quickest players.” He added, “It became more evident at the WBC that Ohtani is the best baseball player.”
Second place went to Mike Trout (32, LA Angels). He is evaluated as the best hitter in active life. ESPN predicted, “If you pick one player to challenge Ohtani, it’s a healthy trout.” Aaron Judge (31, New York Yankees), who hit 62 home runs last season, was ranked third.
Unfortunately, Korean major leaguers were not in the rankings. Not only Kim Ha-seong (28, San Diego Padres) and Choi Ji-man (31, Pittsburgh Pirates), but also Ryu Hyun-jin (36, Toronto Blue Jays), who is recovering from elbow surgery, were not selected in the top 100.