Dodgers News: Dave Roberts & Freddie Freeman Praise Shohei Ohtani’s Potential

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Shohei Ohtani quickly started to make a strong impression on the Los Angeles Dodgers organization after signing a record-setting $700 million contract, and that continued into Spring Training and now the early stages of the regular season as well.

Still on the mend from last September’s right elbow surgery, Ohtani was a regular visitor to Dodger Stadium for offseason workouts. He reported early to Camelback Ranch and has been a fixture in the Dodgers lineup while only being limited to hitting this year.

Several members of the organization have praised Ohtani, which recently has included his handling of Ippei Mizuhara being fired over illegal sports betting and purported theft.

As for what the 29-year-old is capable on the field, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts shared his belief of Ohtani possibly being the most talented player in MLB history, per Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:

“Shohei probably has a chance to be the most talented player to ever play the game of baseball,” Roberts said.

Freddie Freeman offered similar praise, touting Ohtani as someone who will be revered for multiple generations:

First baseman Freddie Freeman called Ohtani “the best player in the world.”

“We’ve got probably the guy we’re going to be talking about to our great grandchildren,” he said. “Just like we talk about Babe Ruth, we’re going to talk about Shohei.”

It may seem hyperbolic at first glance, but there is logic behind Roberts’ statement. Ohtani’s unanimous American League MVP Award in 2023 was already the second time he received such an honor, as he previously accomplished the feat in 2021. That made Ohtani the first player in MLB history to unanimously win MVP multiple times.

Freeman’s predictions seem slightly more plausible compared to Roberts’. In order for Ohtani to be named the greatest to ever do it, it is likely that he would have to continue at or near his current level of play for most of his Dodgers contract.

Ohtani’s two-way ability will likely always keep him in the discussion just from the sheer difficulty it takes to do something so unprecedented at such a high level. One thing is for certain right now, Ohtani will definitely be remembered as one of the greats and perhaps the most exciting player to ever grace the sport.

Shohei Ohtani’s throwing program

Although Ohtani is not going to pitch for the Dodgers during the 2024 season, he recently started a throwing program as he eyes a return to the mound next year.

Ohtani began playing catch last Monday and did so again on Friday. Roberts said the plan for the time being is Ohtani will throw from flat ground every other day.

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