MLB

'We've never seen a player like that before' - Legendary pitcher Greg Maddux in awe of Shohei Ohtani

By Sports Desk April 14, 2023

Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux showered Los Angeles Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani in praise on Thursday, comparing him to legends Babe Ruth, Nolan Ryan and Barry Bonds.

Ohtani, 28, is the most unique talent in the sport today. A dominating starting pitcher who has also racked up 80 home runs over the past two seasons, he trails only New York Yankees star Aaron Judge for the MLB's most long-balls since the beginning of 2021.

As well as his terrific power hitting, Ohtani's six-foot-four frame also can produce fastballs eclipsing 101mp/h, and his 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings had him second in the majors among qualifying starters last season, only narrowly behind former San Francisco Giant Carlos Rodon (12.0).

Maddux himself has a remarkable resume, becoming the first player to ever win four Cy Young Awards in a row between 1992-95, and during an appearance on ESPN radio show 'Canty and Carlin' he shared his admiration for Ohtani.

"He's one of the top two or three pitchers in the game and he's one of the top two or three power hitters in the game," he said. "We've never seen a player like that before, and it's definitely fun to watch. 

"You can watch him throw a shutout one night and go deep the next night. It's kind of special to see a guy that good just dominate as much as he does.

"He kind of reminds you of Nolan Ryan, and then he reminds you of freaking Barry Bonds. He's both of those guys, I mean he's got great stuff and he can hit a home run with the best of anybody. 

"Nobody else has done it before, I mean the last guy was who, maybe Babe Ruth? Nobody's been able to do that."

Ohtani was named the 2021 AL MVP, and it took a historic season from Judge to deny him the award in 2022. After an MVP performance in March's World Baseball Classic, Ohtani is again the favourite to be crowned the AL's top talent.

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