Angels outfielder Justin Upton has been around the block, and he says Shohei Ohtani is the most talented baseball player he has ever seen.
At first glance, the claim is made by Justin Upton may be wild, but if you really think long and hard about it, he’s not crazy. He happens to be teammates with the consensus best player in baseball and someone who has a case for being the best player of all time in Mike Trout, but that does not change his point of view.
Shohei Ohtani is a rare type of player, obviously. Some may even call him a six-tool player. He can hit and hit for power, he can field and run, and he can throw – but he can throw. The Angels have possibly the two most talented baseball players on the list. It’s wild.
Not only has Justin Upton played with Mike Trout, he has also played with the future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera and even Albert Pujols late in his career. He says this with full confidence based on his experience.
This is what Justin Upton had to say about Shohei Ohtani compared to Mike Trout and Mookie Betts:
“He is the most talented baseball player I have ever seen. It’s because he can do anything. Mike Trout can not pitch, Mookie Betts can not pitch. There are very good baseball players in what they do, but no one does everything. ”
Upton certainly has a point. The only problem is that Ohtani has not really managed to do both at the same time at a high level outside of the rookie season. He needs to regain his health completely before we can put him in this conversation. If someone is a C-hitter and a C-pitcher, does that make them as good as an A-hitter like a trout or Betts? It’s up to you to decide.
Upton also had the following to say about Ohtani’s unique skill set:
“He is the fastest guy on our team. He has the most pop on our team. He throws the hardest on our team. He is one of the harder pitchers in the league. No one else can do what he does. ”
Ohtani has previously classified himself as an 80th percentile sprint runner. He has also posted exit speed numbers at the elite level. He can also throw 100 miles per hour on the mound. It’s really creepy what he can do. While Upton’s claim may be premature given Ohtani’s inconsistency in Major League Baseball, he has a very real shot at being thoroughly correct with the uber-talented Japanese sensation.