Ross: Ohtani's Hot Start The Most Amazing Baseball Achievement I've Ever Seen

"What he’s doing is historic," David Ross said. "If this guy was in New York, he would be bigger than Aaron Judge."

Tiki and Tierney
April 11, 2018 - 4:30 pm

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Shohei Ohtani has had quite the start to his big league career. The 23-year-old has dazzled both at the plate and on the mound; he is hitting .368 with three home runs and seven RBIs and is 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA and has 18 strikeouts to just one walk. He is one of the main reasons that the Angels (9-3) are off to their best start since 1982 and, more importantly, have kept pace with the Astros (9-3) in the AL West.

All in all, Brandon Tierney believes Ohtani’s performance thus far is the most amazing baseball achievement he has seen in his lifetime.

He isn’t alone, either.

“I’m going to agree with you,” two-time World Series champion and current MLB analyst David Ross said on Tiki and Tierney. “It hasn’t been done, the two-way (player). The longevity of the streak that Cal Ripken went on, to put that into context, people have no idea. The fact of hitting and the three home runs and he had a perfect game going into the sixth the other night and throwing 100 with that split-finger, which is absolutely dirty – that thing is filthy. I’ve gotten to catch some good Japanese pitchers in my day. I came up and my first start was with Hideo Nomo. This guy had as good a split-finger as anybody – but he wasn’t throwing 100. His stuff is just biting hard. What he’s doing is historic.”

It’s just unfortunate that more people haven’t witnessed it.

“He’s not getting the love, the West Coast kind of thing where you don’t get to watch him at night,” Ross said. “If this guy was in New York, he would be bigger than Aaron Judge, in my opinion. It would be that big of a deal. What he’s doing is special.”

Especially after a rocky spring training.

“I always root for guys that get all the hype and then get hated on a little bit," Ross said. "He was getting hated on in spraining training. People were kind of flipping the coin on him. Then the light turns on and he shines. I always root for guys that get all that hype – because you never live up to it, and he’s one of the rare few that are living up to it.”

While Ohtani is succeeding in Los Angeles, Giancarlo Stanton is struggling in New York. The 2017 NL MVP, Stanton is hitting just .196 with three home runs, seven RBIs and a .288 OBP for the Yankees (5-6), who trail the Red Sox (9-1) by 4.5 games in the AL East. He’s also struck out 22 times – the most in the majors.

Yikes.

“When you get that much hype in a market like New York, it’s going to be impossible to live up to it,” Ross said. “The adjustment of being in a new league is really, really difficult. Facing pitchers when you got that target on your back and you’re not in Miami, where they’re expected to lose and they don’t have this great team and they don’t get a whole lot of TV time – when all of a sudden that target’s on your back, things change. 

“I think he’s going to be fine,” Ross continued. “I think he’s actually off to a little bit of a slow start and punched out in some areas, but you got to take the good with the bad. You’re not going to get a home run hitter that doesn't strike out much.”

Stanton has already been booed several times in New York, but Ross’ advice to Yankees fans is simple: be patient. 

“Giancarlo Stanton, those guys don’t grow on trees,” Ross said. “Those guys aren’t around. There’s a reason they paid him all that money. You’ve got a unique skill set and a unique player. Just get comfortable with the city. The warm weather and the cold – it sounds like excuses, but they’re real things. You go from spring training in Florida, where it’s nice and warm, in a T-shirt, and all of a sudden your first game you’ve got a mask on and four layers of sleeves on. It’s hard to even imagine what that’s like unless you’ve had to do it. I think he’s going to be fine, but there will be an adjustment period. I always think there is when you change leagues.”