How many Shohei Ohtanis does each MLB team have?

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 03: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches in the second inning against the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 03, 2022 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 03: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches in the second inning against the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 03, 2022 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images) /

Shohei Ohtani has been widely celebrated, and rightfully so, for his historically unique talents. He was rewarded with the American League Most Valuable Player award in 2021 after going 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA in 130.1 innings and launching 46 homers, stealing 26 bases, and leading the league with eight triples. Needless to say, no one had done that before in one season.

This year, Ohtani could well be the runner-up in the AL MVP voting and it’s hard to argue against Aaron Judge being deserving. Judge, after all, has 20 more long balls than any other player in baseball and his 27 homers since July 14 are just seven fewer than the Miami Marlins have hit as a team in that span.

But enough about Judge, plenty will be written about him over the next couple of weeks as he chases Babe Ruth and Roger Maris in the AL and Yankee record books.

Shohei Ohtani may be having a better season this year than he had last year.

He won’t hit 46 homers or steal 26 bases like he did last year, but he may hit 40 and steal 15. As a pitcher, however, he’s already surpassed pretty much every mark from last year, including posting a 2.55 ERA, 5.4 K/BB, and 12 wins in 141 innings.

With Ohtani’s remarkable accomplishments, I thought it would be interesting to see how many teams have even one hitter or one pitcher that is comparable to Ohtani. These players aren’t necessarily going to be exact matches in regards to power or strikeouts, but are near or better than his 145 wRC+ as a hitter and 157 ERA+ as a pitcher while being roughly as durable as Ohtani, having enough plate appearances (3.1/team game) to qualify for the batting crown, and having enough innings pitched to win the ERA title (one inning/team game) or likely to achieve that over the last couple of weeks.

The No-Shos

These teams have no hitters or pitchers on par with Ohtani and, unsurprisingly, have some of the worst records in baseball entering play Thursday:

Washington Nationals, 49-94
Oakland Athletics, 52-91
Detroit Tigers, 54-89
Pittsburgh Pirates, 55-88
Kansas City Royals, 57-86
Cincinnati Reds, 56-86
Chicago Cubs, 61-82
Colorado Rockies, 62-81

Those are the six worst records in baseball, the eighth-worst, and the tenth-worst. Some of these teams don’t even have a player anywhere near Ohtani’s level of production or, in the case of the Reds, traded that player away before the deadline.

The Half-Ohtanis

A few teams have either hitters or pitchers that are close to as productive as Ohtani but not both a hitter and a pitcher.

Arizona Diamondbacks — Zac Gallen (2.50 ERA, 158.2 IP, 163 ERA+)
Boston Red Sox — Rafael Devers (34 HR, 145 wRC+) and Xander Bogaerts (.317 AVG, 141 wRC+)
Los Angeles Angels — Mike Trout (35 HR, 176 wRC+)
Miami Marlins — Sandy Alcantara (2.43 ERA, 203.2 IP, 169 ERA+)
Milwaukee Brewers — Corbin Burnes (2.97 ERA, 219 Ks, 179 IP)
Minnesota Twins — Carlos Correa (.823 OPS, 137 wRC+) and Luis Arraez (.320 AVG, 137 wRC+)
San Diego Padres — Manny Machado (28 HR, 151 wRC+) and Juan Soto (.402 OBP, 143 wRC+)
St. Louis Cardinals — Paul Goldschmidt (35 HR, .324 AVG, 185 wRC+) and Nolan Arenado (29 HR, 155 wRC+)

One-Ohtani teams

There are some clubs out there that have both a pitcher and a hitter that are on Ohtani’s level. Outside of Texas, they are all teams with winning records.

Chicago White Sox — Jose Abreu (.310 AVG, 142 wRC+) and Dylan Cease (2.16 ERA, 184 ERA+)
*Philadelphia Phillies — Bryce Harper (.955 OPS, 160 wRC+) and Zach Wheeler (3.07 ERA, 133 ERA+)
Tampa Bay Rays — Yandy Diaz (.404 OBP, 147 wRC+) and Shane McClanahan (2.20 ERA, 165 ERA+)
Texas Rangers — Nathaniel Lowe (24 HR, 147 wRC+) and Martin Perez (2.77 ERA, 172 IP)
Toronto Blue Jays — Vladimir Guerrero (28 HR, 134 wRC+) and Alek Manoah (2.43 ERA, 177.2 IP, 160 ERA+)

*I’m breaking my own rules here including Harper and Wheeler. Harper won’t qualify as a hitter this year but the two-time MVP and his 160 wRC+ are just too good to not include, especially now that he’s back in the lineup and will still accrue 400-plus plate appearances. Wheeler may not qualify, but he’ll be quite close and he’s a true ace.

Ohtani+ teams

Unsurprisingly, the best teams in baseball have multiple players, and at least one hitter and one pitcher, that can do what Ohtani can do at around his level.

Atlanta Braves — Austin Riley (36 HR, 145 wRC+), Max Fried (2.50 ERA, 166 ERA+) and Spencer Strider (2.72 ERA, 192 Ks)
Cleveland Guardians — Jose Ramirez (27 HR, 15 SB, 145 wRC+), Andres Gimenez (.300 AVG, 142 wRC+), and Shane Bieber (2.91 ERA, 173.1 IP)
New York Mets — Jeff McNeil (.321 AVG, 137 wRC+), Pete Alonso (35 HR, 137 wRC+), and Max Scherzer (2.26 ERA, 173 ERA+)
New York Yankees — Judge (57HR, 1.102 OPS, 205 wRC+), Anthony Rizzo (30 HR, 136 wRC+), and Nestor Cortes (2.70 ERA, 144 ERA+)
Seattle Mariners — Julio Rodriguez (26 HR, 25 SB, 143 wRC+), Eugenio Suarez (31 HR, 135 wRC+), and Luis Castillo (2.68 ERA, 158 ERA+)
San Francisco Giants — Joc Pederson (22 HR, 140 wRC+), Logan Webb (2.88 ERA, 178 IP), and Carlos Rodon (2.84 ERA, 220 Ks)

Triple threats

The cream of the crop in baseball, Houston and Los Angeles, have rosters filled with great players and each has at least three hitters and three pitchers that can compare to Shohei.

Houston Astros — Yordan Alvarez (33 HR, 180 wRC+), Jose Altuve (24 HR, 17 SB, 155 wRC+), Alex Bregman (.846 OPS, 143 wRC+), Kyle Tucker (27 HR, 22 SB, 132 wRC+), Justin Verlander (1.84 ERA, 210 ERA+), Framber Valdez (2.50 ERA, 179.2 IP, 154 ERA+), and Cristian Javier (2.87 ERA, 134 ERA+)
Los Angeles Dodgers — Freddie Freeman (.929 OPS, 158 wRC+), Mookie Betts (34 HR, 12 SB, 151 wRC+),Trea Turner (20 HR, 24 SB, 134 wRC+), Tyler Anderson (2.62 ERA, 161.2 IP, 162 ERA+), Tony Gonsolin (2.10 ERA, 201 ERA+), and Julio Urias (2.30 ERA, 184 ERA+)

Next. 5 late-season call-ups who have already impressed. dark

By my count, he would be arguably the best at both hitting and pitching for 14 of the 30 teams in baseball and only two teams, the Astros and the Dodgers, clearly have a hitter and a pitcher that has been more productive than Ohtani in 2022.