Shohei Ohtani is the most incredible player in Major League Baseball and maybe the best story the league has seen in a decade. The Los Angeles Angels' pitcher/outfielder was selected to the 2021 MLB All-Star Game as both a pitcher and a hitter, the first time in baseball history that's happened. This year's Midsummer Classic will be all about the 26-year-old phenom.
So far in the first half of the season, Ohtani leads MLB in home runs (31), is second in total bases (195), second in fWAR (4.90, third in RBI (67), third in OPS (1.070). He's hitting .278, with an OBP of .366. Meanwhile, on the mound, he's 3-1, with a 3.60 ERA, a 1.27 WHIP and 83 strikeouts in 60 innings over 12 starts. Before a disastrous start against the New York Yankees where he allowed seven runs in 0.2 innings, his ERA was a stellar 2.58.
Ohtani is likely to pitch and hit during the All-Star Game, while also participating in the Home Run Derby. It's going to be the Shohei Show for a few days and I'm here for it. He's the most exciting talent baseball has to offer and he'll be the story of those few days in Denver.
With Ohtani, Fernando Tatis Jr., Ronald Acuna, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., MLB has a generational collection of young stars to promote right now. It's a dream for the league's marketing team and that group must be the centerpiece of any promotion going forward.
The focus will be on Ohtani's groundbreaking skills next week, but all of those youngsters should get plenty of time on camera and in interviews. MLB needs to promote its stars the way the NBA does and this is a perfect opportunity.