No one needs to tell Los Angeles Angels two way star Shohei Ohtani that he struggled in 2020. He is perfectly aware of that fact.
The 2020 season was supposed to be the return of the most intriguing experiment in the majors. Shohei Ohtani had recovered from Tommy John surgery and was set to return as a two way player once again. It was a chance for the Los Angeles Angels to see if Ohtani could build off his promising 2018 campaign before injuries forced him off the mound.
Instead, the 2020 season was a disappointment in every way. Ohtani made just two appearances on the mound before injuries led to his being shut down for the rest of the year. Those struggles also manifested at the plate, as he was unable to be that impact slugger he had been over the previous two seasons.
It is something that Ohtani is well aware of. In an interview with Kyodo News, he called his performance “pathetic,” saying that he felt “useless” and that he was different on the mound after his surgery. With the shortened season, and off and on spring training, he never got comfortable.
Pathetic may be charitable when it comes to his 2020 campaign. Ohtani recorded just five outs over his two appearances on the mound, allowing seven runs on three hits and eight walks. He did manage three strikeouts, but Ohtani simply did not have any command of his pitches.
Ohtani did not look like himself at the plate either. After two seasons of excellent production, he cratered, producing a .190/.291/.366 batting line in his 175 plate appearances. He still showed his intriguing blend of power and speed, with six doubles, seven homers, and seven steals, but did not make consistent enough contact. Despite drawing 22 walks, Ohtani struck out 50 times as he seemed tentative at the plate.
It is possible that this will change with a normal offseason. Now that he knows what his body feels like after surgery and is healthy, Ohtani can work to getting back to being the player he once was. The 2020 season may just be a blip on the radar, something that he uses as motivation to become the player that the Angels had envisioned he would be.
No one needs to tell Shohei Ohtani that his 2020 season was a disappointment. The Los Angeles Angels two way star already knows.