Shohei Ohtani – His Place in Angels History

Maybe this is just a cope but let’s look at where Shohei Ohtani ranks in Angels history.

One strange fact is that even though he was with the team for six seasons, he barely pitched for us in 2018 (51.2 IP), didn’t pitch at all in 2019 and had a horrendous 1.2 IP in the awful 2020 season.

He then put together two (and what should have been three) MVP seasons with his arm and bat in 2021 – 2023.

He had 34.7 WAR as an Angel. Combined for a position player that would rank him 6th all time as an Angel between Bobby Grich (35.1) and Darin Erstad (32.6).

PITCHING

His 15.1 WAR as a Pitcher ranks 12th in franchise history.

Ohtnai’s ERA was 3.01 – 5th all time for the franchise. Francisco Rodriguez put up a 2.35 ERA for the franchise crown. Andy Messersmith ranks 2nd with an ERA of 2.78 followed by Dean Chance with a 2.83 ERA, Troy Percival at 4th place with an ERA of 2.99. Ohtani’s 3.01 ERA closely follows Percy’s and is then trailed by Nolan Ryan’s 3.07 ERA.

His WL% of .667 ranks 1st and his WHIP of 1.082 is also the best all time for an Angels hurler (Percy is second, at 1.101), his 6.50 H/9 is 5th and his K/9 was 11.4, 2nd behind Frankie’s 11.7 average of batters struck out over every nine innings pitched. All of that in 481.2 Innings Pitched.

OFFENSE

Shohei Ohtani is one of 33 Angels to appear in over 700 games. His 19.4 oWAR (Offensive Wins Above Replacement) ranks 12th all time for an Angel.

His .922 OPS – On Base Percentage Plus Slugging – ranks 3rd all time, unsurprisingly trailing Mike Trout at .994 and Vladimir Guerrero’s .927 OPS, while his .556 Slugging % is a smidge higher than Vlad’s .546, both behind Trout’s .982. Ohtani’s On Base Percentage of .366, though, ranks 8th – indicating fewer walks than the big guys.

In 2,781 Plate Appearances he launched 171 homeruns, good for 8th most among Angels and with a 14.5 AB/HR the best rate of hitting them over the fence in franchise history.

COMPARISON

Shohei was paid just under $41 Million for five full season and one truncated year. He will surpass that in his 93rd game of the 2024 season.

His six seasons should have had 972 scheduled games but because of the 2020 lockdown only 870 games were scheduled. He appeared in 701 games. He missed 169 games possible games while wearing a halo.

If he sits approximately 20 games each of the next five seasons he will play in about as many up the road as he did here. He is not pitching in 2024. If he averages 160 innings in 2025, ’27 and ’27 he will approximate the 481.2 IP he had in Anaheim.

So barring injury – not a guarantee with his reattached tendons – we can compare his pitching stats as a Bum to those as an Angel in October of 2027 and his batting numbers after the 2028 regular season campaign.

47 Comments
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Angels2020Champs
Legend
4 months ago

In person Shohei highlights:
ST 2018 my first, Sho’s first. Got to see him get a hit 3/20
2019 opening weekend
2021 all of it, went to 40+ games, took my son to his first HRD and ASG in Colorado. Big A seats by the batting circle. Didn’t matter the game or what Sho did at the plate (have never heard a ball leave a bat the way it did with his) or on the mound (those 100+ mph heaters really were spectacular to hear because I sure as shit couldn’t see it lol).
2022 most all of it, went to another 40+ games, same great seats and experiences. ASG was the first time I’d been back to Latrine since Kings v Ducks stadium series hockey game and that was fun.

Overall got the kids and myself back into baseball beyond Trout. Some good times and I knew they were good when I was in ‘em!

Last edited 4 months ago by Angels2020Champs
PedroCerrano
Super Member
4 months ago

If you took a job a company that ended up being awful in their space wouldn’t it be wise to seek employment at a better run organization? I have zero issue with Ohtani exercising his free agent rights. He honored his contract (when he didn’t really have to) with exceptional dedication to give the Angels and us fans some great years.

Bitching about the neighbor’s success won’t put a new luxury car in your driveway. Being smart and working hard will so perhaps it is time for the Angels to look in the mirror to ask what’s missing.

M.C.Homer
Member
4 months ago

Losing Ohtani to the Dodgers should be the final dagger.
The unfinished business is closed Arte!

Fansince1971
Legend
4 months ago
Reply to  M.C.Homer

#selltheAngels

Senator_John_Blutarsky
Legend
4 months ago

The comparisons across generations are flawed.

For the timeframe he was an Angel, Ohtani’s accomplishments were unprecedented.

I don’t have a “teenage girl” crush on Ohtani, and don’t care what he does as a Dodger. The sport and players lose some of their appeal once the stupid levels of money start to get thrown around. Baseball is no longer “the national pastime” for me.

Last edited 4 months ago by Senator_John_Blutarsky
Trout_is_my_Bestie
Member
4 months ago

Apparently Ohtani will be deferring $68 million per year! He will only be taking a $2 million salary throughout the length of the contract…

I’ve gotta be honest, that leaves a sour taste in my mouth. What did the Dodgers ever do for him to make him say “You know what guys, I will sacrifice everything for you. I know you guys have loved me from Day 1”

Gives me hints of Kevin Durant moving to the Warriors and taking less money than he was worth all in the name of “I jUsT wAnT to wiN”

FungoAle
Super Member
4 months ago

His longevity with the team holds him down on my list and in my opinion his departure is not nearly as bad as Nolan Ryan’s on a personal level.

Brent
Super Member
4 months ago

Ohtani, never heard of her.

Angelz4ever
Super Member
4 months ago

“Angels Free Agent <Position> Target Signs With <Not Angels>”
So tired of these taglines….

nishiogawakun
Super Member
4 months ago

So all that deferred contract shenanigans the Dodgers and Ohtani pulled off are pretty wild. Honestly, just another example of a savvy org thinking outside the box in my opinion. Wish we could be that clever.

You’re telling me Molly Jolly couldn’t have come up with this too?! Oh, I think that is what you are telling me…

Last edited 4 months ago by nishiogawakun
Fansince1971
Legend
4 months ago
Reply to  nishiogawakun

+1 for Molly Jolly reference.

Molly Jolly for GM!!

Cowboy26
Legend
4 months ago
Reply to  Fansince1971

Sounds like You got a Molly Jolly Fetish ’71

Fansince1971
Legend
4 months ago
Reply to  Cowboy26

Have a Molly Jolly Christmas!!

HalosFanForLife
Trusted Member
4 months ago

Ohtani? We ain’t got no Ohtani! We don’t need no Ohtani! I don’t have to show you any stinking Ohtani! Arte – From the Treasure of The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim California USA

tanana40
Super Member
4 months ago

In 2018, my wife and I were at the Big A for two games (we live in Idaho). The first game was against the Astros and Verlander shut out the Angels that game (Trout came to bat with the bases loaded in the 7th inning or so but he grounded out to Verlander on the first pitch). Game 2 was against Tampa Bay and CJ Cron hit a homer for TB and they shut out the Angels someting like 8-0 until Shohei hit a solo homer in the 9th inning.

As we walked out of the stadium, several fans were excited by Shohei’s line drive HR to CF. For me, baseball is a team game and I was more saddened by the team’s awful performance.

It was great to follow his historic seasons and he seems to love the game. But it is sad that the Angels never went anywhere with him.

2018-The Angels were 80-82
2019;72-90
2020: 28-34
2021: 77-85
2022: 73-89
2023: 73-89

I am glad that I was able to see him in person in Anaheim and in Seattle (2019). And, I won’t let the Angels awfulness ruin the fact that I followed one of the game’s icons for six years on a daily basis. But all of us who have stuck out the Angels (47 years for me) deserve better from an owner than we are getting. Shohei deserved better and so does Mike Trout.

Fansince1971
Legend
4 months ago
Reply to  tanana40

Ain’t gonna happen until Arte sells. His way of running a team is fairly obvious. He’s not going to change. We can only hope this stops being fun for him when the turnstiles slow down and the merch stops flying off the shelves. Maybe this will be a long term plus with Arte finally selling.

Last edited 4 months ago by Fansince1971
Pineapple12
Super Member
4 months ago

At his peak, which was the last 3 seasons, Ohtani is the greatest baseball player and arguably greatest athlete ever IMO.

And he accomplished that as an Angel. Short of a WS, I couldn’t have wished for a better outcome for my fandom.

Best of luck to Sho. The 🐐.

RexFregosi
Super Member
4 months ago
Reply to  Pineapple12

Greatest seasons ever of an Angel

Career wise, Top Ten

Pineapple12
Super Member
4 months ago
Reply to  RexFregosi

I mean, Shohei hit AND pitched at an elite level in 3 straight seasons. He has no peer, apologies to Baby Ruth.

Ohtani’s ’21, ’22, ’23 seasons are the 3 best individual seasons in MLB history.

Fansince1971
Legend
4 months ago
Reply to  Pineapple12

And it resulted in 77, 73 and 73 wins as Rex pointed out. Baseball is a team sport.

smithy610
Super Member
4 months ago
Reply to  Fansince1971

What’s wrong with what Pineapple said? He did say best individual seasons. Shohei controlled only so much. But from what he controlled, he did his part excellently, second to none.

Fansince1971
Legend
4 months ago
Reply to  smithy610

I agree 100% but it goes to show that building a team requires more that a generational player.

smithy610
Super Member
4 months ago
Reply to  Fansince1971

No disagreement there. Baseball is the most team sport of all, as compared to football and basketball, where a QB or a guy like LeBron can completely dominate a game.

But this post is about Shohei’s individual accomplishments and where HE stands in Angels’ lore. I think the team’s lack of wins during his last 3 years here has been beaten to death, resurrected like Jesus, and then beaten to death again.

Fansince1971
Legend
4 months ago
Reply to  smithy610

Yes. That’s true and an interesting question. Team performance affects my view of overall placement in Angels lore kind of like MVP voting used to factor in team performance in the voting.

I would put Ohtani behind Vlad for that reason and because his first two seasons were pretty mediocre. He is definitely in my top 5. Maybe my top 10 looks something like this:

Vlad
Trout
Ohtani
Ryan
Glaus
Salmon
Anderson
Bobby Bonds
Fergosi
Downing

smithy610
Super Member
4 months ago
Reply to  Fansince1971

I’m a young Angels fan in terms of when I started becoming a fan (2002). So while I’m aware of Nolan’s greatness, I didn’t see him play, so my personal list is based on whom I saw play:

Trout
Vlad
Ohtani
Glaus – my first favorite Angels player
Salmon
Anderson
Weaver
Santana

And I know this player won’t go down in any legendary Angels’ lore/lists, but I love Trumbo. Rooted like crazy for him and bought his jersey, even when Trout’s was already available then. I dunno, there’s just something about the guy. Too bad he couldn’t cut down on the Ks.

tanana40
Super Member
4 months ago
Reply to  smithy610

Trumbombs!

tanana40
Super Member
4 months ago
Reply to  tanana40

Just watching Trumbo in batting practice was worth the price of admission. The guy hit bombs.

JackFrost
Super Member
4 months ago
Reply to  Fansince1971

No way Vlad is at the top of the list. He choked in all of his biggest AB’s for Angels (mostly highest leverage AB’s vs Boston in playoffs). Not to mention base running blunders and other key mistakes that cost us playoff games and potentially series wins.

Maybe Vlad is like 7 or 8 on my list.

Last edited 4 months ago by JackFrost
Fansince1971
Legend
4 months ago
Reply to  JackFrost

That’s what is fun about different opinions

StarLord
Member
4 months ago
Reply to  Fansince1971

Yes!
My top 2 for sure as well.

h27kim
Trusted Member
4 months ago
Reply to  Fansince1971

Two generational players.

Senator_John_Blutarsky
Legend
4 months ago
Reply to  Fansince1971

…or two generational players

RexFregosi
Super Member
4 months ago
Reply to  Pineapple12

not so fast – Trout is right there. He has two 10.5 bWAR seasons. Shohei highest is 10.0 last season. bWAR

Jeff Joiner
Editor
Legend
4 months ago

Five seasons plus whatever we call 2020.

In that timeframe he put up the 3 most incredible seasons in MLB history.

RexFregosi
Super Member
4 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

and 77, 73, 73 wins

Eric_in_Portland
Legend
4 months ago
Reply to  RexFregosi

but not his fault. Consider Steve Carlton’s 1972 season. 27-10, 1.97 ERA (never mind the way pitchers were used….30 complete games, 346 IP). That Phillies team went 59-97. That’s pretty much the defining example of one guy on a team being unable to make his team a winner.

So too with Ohtani, and Trout is many seasons. In 2023 Ohtani had a 10.0 WAR and the next highest was Trout at 2.9. By the time you get to our 11th most productive player we’ve reached Chase Silseth. Yikes! How’d we even win 73?

smithy610
Super Member
4 months ago

The 2021 season was such a joy to watch because it was the first such season. Maddon obviously didn’t work out here, but he and Perry do get credit for unleashing Shohei into the league. No more restrictions, no more kid gloves and they let Shohei be the sole driver of his performance.

First game of being a “real” two-way player, 100 MPH strike pitch and a HR in the same inning w/ an exit velocity of 100MPH+. Little did we all know that’s the sign of all great things to come for the next 3 years. It was really amazing to watch, on a nightly basis, what a lot of people romanticize on how it is to imagine watching Babe Ruth play.

What I was hoping his last parting gift for the Angels, aside from playoffs and a WS championship (heh!), was for him to break Troy Glaus’ Angels HR record of 47. He came close twice, but no cigar. Hey, maybe that will still be Mike Trout’s to break.

I’ve always said that aside from Maddon/Perry, the reason why Shohei became Shohei was because he was blessed with unbelievably excellent health the past 3 years, after an injury-ridden start to his career. Would that health remain the same as he ages, and as his body takes on the wear and tear of the two-way thing? Is the second TJS and the oblique injury that shortened his 2023 season, a harbinger of things to come regarding how his body would hold up? That’s the Dodgers’ problem now.

Fansince1971
Legend
4 months ago

Ohtani, when used like Arte used him, was a marketing toy utilized to generate ridiculous revenue and distract from the remarkable failures of this Organization. Marketing is all that Arte and his billboard goons really care about and Ohtani was their dream. Arte made tens of millions (maybe hundreds of millions) on this player who fell into his lap and generated ridiculous revenue for at least 3 of his 6 seasons with the team.

However, because Arte and this Org has nothing other than show, the ultimately lost Sho. Hopefully this will be the beginning of the end of Arte since there is nothing really left to market.

Jayman28
Trusted Member
4 months ago
Reply to  Fansince1971

As much as I want to see him sell the team. I bet he will just be like Jerry Reinsdorf and refuse to sell because “my life is boring and have nothing else going for it so this is all have”.

“Friends of mine have said, ‘Why don’t you sell? Why don’t you get out?’ My answer always has been, ‘I like what I’m doing, as bad as it is, and what else would I do?” Reinsdorf said, via Scott Merkin. “I’m a boring guy. I don’t play golf. I don’t play bridge. And I want to make it better before I go.'”

I kid you not, this is what he said. https://www.si.com/mlb/2023/08/31/chicago-white-sox-jerry-reinsdorf-wont-sell-nightmare-season

And sadly, I bet Arte sees Jerry as an inspiration.

Fansince1971
Legend
4 months ago
Reply to  Jayman28

You may be right. I certainly hope that you aren’t, but it is a reasonable theory on what may happen.

What I am hoping is that Arte’s desire for marketing success outweighs his ‘boredom’ and leads him to sell the team. Honestly, if this team continues to lose like they have, and Ohtani is not there to bring in the crowds, who is going to attend games other than a small group of diehards? Season ticket sales have got to be STRUGGLING and Trout is not the draw he once was. Southern California is a finicky market. They want a winning product and/or a true superstar. This team is unlikely to have either and therefore I suspect attendance will decline rapidly. What will there be to market and who will care particularly since the “greatest show on earth” is only 35 miles north on the 5 freeway.

I cannot see Arte hanging around under these circumstances. It was easy for him to do so when the lines to get into the team store were three hours long and people were lining up even on off days. What happens now when no one cares, except for die hards? I am hopeful that frustration and the incredible amount of money it cost to run a baseball organization every year will cause him to waive the white flag..

Jayman28
Trusted Member
4 months ago
Reply to  Fansince1971

That’s another thing I’ve noticed too on refusing to trade Trout because of “muh marketing”, when was the last time he had a healthy season? He seems to be hurt most of the time. Fans are literally taking a gamble on buying a ticket to a game and hoping he will play and not be on the IL.

Fansince1971
Legend
4 months ago
Reply to  Jayman28

It’s probably a last ditch hope of an isolated billionaire. Arte seems to live in his own little marketing dreamworld. I have a distinct feeling it’s all going to become a nightmare very quickly. Hopefully at that point, he sells.

Jayman28
Trusted Member
4 months ago
Reply to  Fansince1971

I hope so too

Eric_in_Portland
Legend
4 months ago

Who?

Eric_in_Portland
Legend
4 months ago

I kid. This is a good time for reflection, to appreciate the times we had and to think about why he chose to be elsewhere

WallyChuckChili
Legend
4 months ago

He’s on 1st.

ihearhowie3.0
Super Member
4 months ago

Amazing human being. Humble, gracious and patient. Extremely happy I got to take my daughter to see him play a handful of times for her team.

For a franchise that was not well run, he was also kind of a monkey-paw. We got the greatest seasons ever played in the sport but they came with an avalanche of memes and negative attention.

You cannot rule out his greatness juxtaposed with shit like Jo Adell dropping fly balls and blowing games he dominated had at least *some* impact on the psyche of a locker room full of guys logging onto social media every night and seeing they’re a laughingstock. Hard to turn the page when everyone is highlighting everything.

The 6 man rotation did not vibe with a team that lacked pitching depth every year.

He was amazing and he deserved better. Oddly enough the team probably needed him to leave to finally get good again with nobody paying attention anymore.