On July 6, 2022, against the Miami Marlins, Ohtani made MLB history again by becoming the first player since RBI became an official statistic in 1920 to record 10 strikeouts as a pitcher, two RBIs as a batter, and a stolen base all in a single game. His 111 strikeouts over 81 innings pitched in the game made him the first Angels pitcher to record 110 K's in the first half in fewer than 100 innings and the first Angels pitcher to 110 K's in the first half since Garrett Richards in 2014. He also became the fourth Angels player with multiple seasons of 15 home runs and 10 stolen bases prior to the All-Star break and the eighth Major Leaguer since earned runs were official in 1913 to record 40-plus strikeouts and zero earned runs in a four-start span.
Against the Boston Red Sox on May 5, 2022, Ohtani, while hitting third and making his first career start on the mound at Fenway Park, became the first starting pitcher to bat in one of the top four spots in a game at Fenway since Babe Ruth did so on September 20, 1919. He threw seven scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts in the Angels' 8–0 victory over the Red Sox, while also going 2-for-4 from the plate and a RBI single in the eighth inning to become the second starting pitcher to ever record a hit at Fenway after Roger Clemens in 1996, since the implementation of the designated hitter in 1973. His induced 29 swings and misses became the most registered number of swings and misses in a game for 2022.
After skipping a scheduled start against the Toronto Blue Jays due to a blister, Ohtani made his second start of the season on April 20, against the Texas Rangers. Under a 75-pitch limit, he threw four scoreless innings, striking out seven batters and allowing one hit. In his third start on April 26, once again against the Texas Rangers, Ohtani collected his first win of the season. He pitched five innings, allowing four runs in the first inning and striking out nine. Offensively, he went 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Ohtani also became the first player in nearly 100 years to start a game on the mound while also entering the day leading the Majors in home runs. Such an event had not occurred since Babe Ruth took the mound as starting pitcher for the Yankees on June 13, 1921, leading the AL with 19 home runs.
From September 22 to 25, Ohtani drew 13 walks in a 4-game span, tying an AL/NL record set by Babe Ruth in 1930, Bryce Harper in 2016, and Yasmani Grandal in 2021. He drew a career-high four walks on September 22 and three walks on September 23, against the Houston Astros, followed by four more walks on September 24 and two walks on September 25 against the Seattle Mariners. His 11 walks drawn in the three game span also tied the MLB record set by Harper in 2016.
Ohtani made his debut at age 18 in the Fighters' season-opening game on March 29, 2013, playing as a right fielder. He was selected for a Pacific League roster spot for the 2013 All-Star Game. As a pitcher, he finished the season with a 3–0 record in 11 starts. As a rookie Ohtani was used in both the outfield (leading the Fighters with 51 games in right) and as a pitcher. He was the second Nippon Pro Baseball rookie drafted out of high school the previous year to be used as both a pitcher and position player, following Kikuo Tokunaga in 1951; Ohtani was the first to start in both roles. He was the first NPB pitcher since Takao Kajimoto in 1963 to bat 3rd, 4th or 5th and the first rookie hurler to do so since Junzo Sekine in 1950. He was the second player, following Osamu Takechi (also 1950), to start a game at pitcher, bat in the heart of the order (3rd through 5th) and get a hit and a run batted in (RBI) in that game. He missed time during the year with a right ankle sprain and right cheekbone fracture.
In a September 7 game against the Orix Buffaloes, he homered to straightaway center at Kyocera Dome to become the first Japanese player to reach double digits in both home runs and wins. He tossed a 1–0 shutout against Orix on September 13 and became the first pitcher out of high school to record a 1–0 shutout victory within his first two years for the Fighters since Toshiaki Moriyasu in 1967. He also became the first pitcher out of high school to notch two shutout victories within his first two years in the NPB since Yu Darvish.
On July 26, in his 15th pitching start of the season against the Colorado Rockies, Ohtani became the first pitcher in league history to register 100 strikeouts while holding a major-league-leading 35 home runs before the end of July, as no pitcher had ever recorded triple-digit strikeouts and added more than nine home runs in the same season. Additionally, in the same game, Ohtani became the first pitcher to throw a scoreless top half and record a hit, a RBI, a stolen base and a scored run while playing in an AL ballpark since Luis Tiant did so for the Minnesota Twins on April 26, 1970.
On August 18, Ohtani pitched a dominant 8 innings against the Detroit Tigers, setting a career high by throwing 90 pitches to record 24 outs in eight innings while also hitting a solo homer for his 40th of the year in the eighth inning to lead the Angels to a 3–1 win. He became the first left-handed batter in Angels history to reach 40 home runs, surpassing lefty Reggie Jackson's 1982 record of 39. He also became just the fourth AL pitcher to throw at least eight innings and hit a homer in a game since the DH was instituted in 1973, joining Jon Garland in June 2006, Kris Benson in June 2006, and Bobby Witt in June 1997.
Ohtani was born to Kayoko and Toru Ohtani in Mizusawa (now part of Ōshū), Iwate, Japan, on July 5, 1994. His mother was a national-level badminton player in high school and his father worked at a local automobile manufacturing plant and was an amateur baseball player who played in the Japanese Industrial League. He is the youngest of three children. He has one older sister, Yuka, and one older brother, Ryuta, who is also an amateur baseball player in the Japanese Industrial League. In Japan, Ohtani was known as a "yakyū shōnen" (野球少年)—a kid who lives, eats and breathes baseball. Coached by his father, he displayed an aptitude for the game at an early age. He began playing baseball in his second year of elementary school, and as a seventh-grader, Ohtani recorded all but one of 18 outs in a six-inning regional championship game.
Shohei Ohtani (大谷 翔平, Ōtani Shōhei, born July 5, 1994), nicknamed "Shotime", is a Japanese professional baseball pitcher and designated hitter for the Los Angeles Angels of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball's (NPB) Pacific League. Widely acclaimed for his skill in both pitching and batting, he has been compared to two-way players such as Babe Ruth and Bullet Rogan, although such comparisons draw debate given the difference in era and overall ability of modern players.
For the year, Ohtani finished his pitching campaign by making 23 starts on the mound, going 9–2 with a 3.18 ERA, 156 strikeouts, 1.09 WHIP and 44 walks in 130 1/3 innings. On the hitting side, Ohtani finished with an American League-leading 20 intentional walks, which was the most by an AL player since Trout in 2018. Ohtani, who batted .257/.372/.592, including 46 home runs — runner-up for the MLB lead in homers, 100 RBI, 103 runs and 26 steals in 155 games and 639 plate appearances, hit several milestones to close his season, reaching both 100 RBIs and 100 runs for the first time in his career. He also tied for the MLB lead with eight triples to go along with 26 stolen bases. Ohtani became the first player in MLB history to have at least 45 homers, 25 stolen bases, 100 RBIs, 100 runs, and eight triples in a season and the second player in AL history to record at least 45 homers and 25 stolen bases in a season, joining Jose Canseco in 1998. According to Baseball-Reference.com, Ohtani led the league with a wins above replacement (WAR) value of 9.1 and finished third in home runs (46), fourth in slugging percentage (.592), fifth in OPS (.965), first in triples (eight), fifth in drawing walks (96), eight in stolen bases (26), second in extra base hits (80), second in intentional walks (20), fifth in OPS+ (158), and first in power-speed number (33.2).
Ohtani would cap off the month of August by stealing his 20th base in a game on August 28 against the San Diego Padres, becoming the first Japanese-born player and the first player in Angels history to hit 40 home runs and have 20 stolen bases in the same season. He joined Alex Rodriguez in 2007 and Ken Griffey Jr. in 1999 as the 3rd AL player to accomplish this feat before September. He also became the first AL player to reach both of those totals in a season since Curtis Granderson in 2011.
On September 26, Ohtani reached the 150-strikeout milestone against the Seattle Mariners and finished the year unbeaten at home, going 6–0 with a 1.95 ERA in 13 starts. Ohtani's home ERA was the lowest by an Angels starter since Jered Weaver in 2011. He also became the sixth starter in AL or NL history to make at least 13 home starts without a losing decision and an ERA below 2.00 in a season. In the last game of the season against the Seattle Mariners, Ohtani passed teammate Mike Trout's 45 home runs in a single season to finish with the second-most home runs in a season in Angels history at 46, trailing only Troy Glaus' 47 home runs in 2000.
In December, he became the second player out of high school in NPB history to reach 100M yen in salary in his third year, after Daisuke Matsuzaka in 2001. His new contract more than tripled his previous salary estimated at 30M yen.
On July 4, Ohtani made history by becoming the first player to be selected as an All-Star as both a position player and a pitcher. He had already been selected as the starting designated hitter by the fans for the 2021 All-Star Game on July 1, while being voted by the players as one of five starting pitchers to make the American League roster on July 4. On July 7, Ohtani hit his 32nd home run of the year, a solo shot off of Boston Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodríguez, passing Hideki Matsui's mark in 2004, for the most home runs hit during a season by a Japanese-born player in MLB. Additionally, Ohtani won the Best Major League Baseball Player ESPY Award, becoming the first Japanese player to win the award.
In a two-game span from June 21–22, 2022, Ohtani made MLB history by becoming the first player in the American League or National League to have at least eight RBIs in a game and strike out at least 10 batters the next day. On June 21, Ohtani hit a pair of three-run homers and set a career-high with eight RBIs, becoming the first player born in Japan to have eight RBI in a game and just the eighth player in Angels history to have eight RBIs in a game. Ohtani's eight RBIs were the most by an Angels player since Garret Anderson had a franchise-record 10 RBIs against the New York Yankees on August 21, 2007. It was also the most RBIs in a game by a Japanese-born player, surpassing seven-RBI games from Hideki Matsui in 2009 and Tadahito Iguchi in 2006. The following day, Ohtani set another career high with 13 strikeouts over eight scoreless innings to help lift the Angels to a 5–0 win over the Kansas City Royals, becoming the 19th player in Angels history with 13 strikeouts in a game and the first since Patrick Sandoval on July 24, 2021, against the Minnesota Twins.
On September 21, after hitting his 45th home run of the season, Ohtani became the first player to hit at least 45 homers and steal 20 bases in a season since Alex Rodriguez in 2007. And on September 25, Ohtani joined Willie Mays as the only players with at least 45 home runs, 20 stolen bases and six triples in a season, when he hit two triples in consecutive plate appearances, becoming the first Angels player to do so since Peter Bourjos in April 2011.
During the July 2014 Mazda All-Star Game, he threw a 162 km/h (101 mph) fastball in the bottom of the first inning, setting a new record for the fastest official pitch thrown by a Japanese pitcher, beating the record set by the Yakult Swallows' Yoshinori Sato in 2010 (161 km/h (100 mph)). The jersey he wore during the game sold for 1,752,000 yen ($17,000), making it the top-seller at the All-Star 2014 Charity Auction. The proceeds were donated to three Tohoku earthquake children's relief funds.
Ohtani would finish the month of July as the first player in Major League history to ever have at least 37 home runs and 15 stolen bases before the end of July. And for the second straight month, Ohtani also earned his second American League Player of the Month Award, becoming the first back-to-back Player of the Month Award winner in either league since Chase Headley in August and September 2012, and the first in the AL since Josh Hamilton in 2012. For the month of July, he produced nine home runs, 19 RBIs, 16 walks and a .282/.396/.671 slash line in 23 games at the plate, and a 1.35 ERA with 17 strikeouts and one walk in 20 innings.
Ohtani expressed a desire to move directly to the major leagues after high school and received interest from numerous teams including the Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers. On October 21, 2012, he announced that he would pursue a career in Major League Baseball rather than turn professional in Japan. The Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters decided to draft him in the 2012 NPB Draft nevertheless, despite knowing that there was a high likelihood he would not play for them. After an exclusive negotiating window between him and the Fighters, Ohtani announced that he would sign with the Fighters and spend some years in Japan before a possible MLB move. Hokkaido said it would allow Ohtani to serve as a pitcher and position player; the Los Angeles Dodgers, who had become Ohtani's top-choice MLB team, were not prepared to let him play both ways. He was assigned the jersey number 11, previously worn by Yu Darvish.
While not fluent, Ohtani can speak English and knows Spanish, but prefers to speak to the media through an interpreter, translating his native Japanese to English. Ippei Mizuhara is Ohtani's personal interpreter with the Los Angeles Angels and has known him since Ohtani was 18, starting in 2013 during Ohtani's days with the Fighters. Mizuhara's role as interpreter ranges from confidant to conditioning coach and throwing partner, to making sure Ohtani understands and is understood. The interpreter steps into any number of sub-duties, including Ohtani's agenda—preparation, play, recovery, media availability, breaking down advanced analytics and recovery timetables between Ohtani and the Angels organization. After Ohtani joined the Angels, Mizuhara suggested to Ohtani, as an icebreaker, to combine his hobby of playing video games by downloading Clash Royale with the rest of the clubhouse.
In 104 games and 382 plate appearances in 2016, Ohtani hit 22 home runs. He also hit 18 doubles, 67 RBI, batted .322 with an OBP of .416, scored 65 runs and had seven stolen bases. He won the Best Nine award as the designated hitter. Ohtani was the same dominant pitcher on the mound. In 21 games pitched, he had a career low in ERA at 1.86. He had a 10–4 record, struck out 174 batters in 140 innings with 4 complete games and one shutout. He also won the Best Nine award as a pitcher and won the Pacific League MVP. He got nearly double as many votes as any other pitcher for the PL for the 2016 NPB All-Star Game; he had 300,025 while #2 Shota Takeda had 158,008. He could not pitch in the event due to a blister on his finger but wound up starring as a designated hitter (DH). In Game 1, he batted for DH Yuya Hasegawa and lined out in the 8th against Scott Mathieson. Starting at DH and hitting 5th in Game 2, he homered off Shoichi Ino in the 5th to start the PL comeback from a 3–0 deficit. He singled against Ryo Akiyoshi in the 7th and scored on a hit by Kenta Imamiya for a 4–3 lead. Coming up with a 5–4 deficit in the 8th, he singled off Shinji Tajima to bring in Shogo Akiyama with the tying run. He thus produced three of the PL's five runs in the 5–5 tie, earning him game MVP honors. He hit 165 km/h (102.5 mph) on the radar gun during the year, setting a new NPB record. The record was broken by Thyago Vieira five years later, but he still holds the record for a Japanese player.
In 2017, he played in 65 games, hitting .332 with eight homers and 31 RBIs while posting a 3–2 record, a 3.20 ERA, and 29 strikeouts as a pitcher. In September, it was revealed that Ohtani would ask to be posted at the end of the season in order to play in Major League Baseball in 2018. However, before that could happen, he had surgery on his right ankle in early October. The injury had originally occurred in the 2016 Japan Series, and had cost him a chance to play in the 2017 World Baseball Classic in addition to restricting his playing time during the season. On November 21, 2017, MLB and NPB came to a posting agreement for Ohtani.
When Ohtani announced in September 2017 that he wanted to pursue a career in MLB, he signed with CAA Sports for representation. Ohtani is represented by agent Nez Balelo of CAA Sports since 2017. Ohtani was listed in Forbes 30 under 30 Asia class of 2018 in the field of Entertainment & Sports.
On December 8, 2017, Ohtani agreed to a deal with the Los Angeles Angels. The deal was finalized the next day. On December 13, it was revealed that Ohtani was diagnosed with a first-degree UCL sprain in his right elbow. He received a platelet-rich plasma injection to treat the injury.
On July 26, 2020, Ohtani returned to the mound against the Oakland Athletics, making his first pitching appearance since September 2018. He allowed five runs and was removed from the mound without recording an out, starting his season with a loss and an infinite ERA. After his second start of the season against the Houston Astros, Ohtani began to experience discomfort in his right arm, and it was eventually revealed that he had a flexor strain in his right elbow after undergoing an MRI. Angels manager Joe Maddon later stated that Ohtani would not pitch for the rest of the season.
On September 3, 2018, ESPN announced that doctors recommended that Ohtani undergo Tommy John surgery, after an MRI showed new damage to his UCL. The Angels announced on September 25 that Ohtani had agreed to the procedure, which would keep him off the mound until 2020. On October 1, Angels general manager Billy Eppler announced that Ohtani underwent successful Tommy John surgery. On November 12, he was named the American League Rookie of the Year.
On May 7, 2019, Ohtani played in his first game with the Angels since undergoing Tommy John surgery, batting as a designated hitter against the Detroit Tigers. In a June 13 game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Ohtani became the first Japanese-born player to hit for the cycle in MLB history. On September 12, Ohtani's 2019 season prematurely ended after it was revealed that he needed surgery to repair a bipartite patella. He finished the season batting .286/.343/.505 with 18 home runs, 62 RBIs, and 12 stolen bases in 106 games.
The 2020 MLB season did not start until July 24 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On July 24, 2020, Ohtani was the first ever automatic player on second base in an official MLB game at the start of the 10th inning as part of one of the new 2020 MLB season rules in a game against the Oakland Athletics. He was thrown out in a rundown.
Additionally, Ohtani's 2021 season was recognized for two Guinness World Records titles: (1) the first MLB player to achieve 100+ innings and record 100+ strikeouts as a pitcher, and 100+ RBIs, hits and runs as a batter in a single season and (2) the first player to start the MLB All-Star Game as a pitcher and a designated hitter. He also became the 16th recipient of the Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award, awarded by Commissioner Rob Manfred, who formally recognized Ohtani's 2021 season as "historically significant" and "unprecedented", calling it "so special that it was important to recognize the historic achievement that took place in 2021 with an award just about 2021." Ohtani was offered Japan's national honor, the People's Honour Award, by the Prime Minister of Japan in recognition of his accomplishments, but Ohtani rejected it, saying it was "still too early" for such an award.
For his historic campaign in 2021, Ohtani was named to Time 100's list of most influential people of 2021 and awarded the Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award by Commissioner Rob Manfred.
In 2021, Ohtani had an estimated MLB league-leading $6 million in annual endorsement deals, which included Asics, Descente, Japan Airlines, Nishikawa Co., and Seiko Watch in Japan and Hugo Boss, New Era, Panini, Fanatics, Oakley and Topps in the United States. On November 16, 2021, it was announced that Ohtani joined cryptocurrency exchange FTX as a global ambassador, partnering on various animal charitable initiatives. In November 2022, FTX filed for bankruptcy, wiping out billions of dollars in customer funds. Ohtani, alongside other spokespeople, is currently being sued for promoting unregistered securities through a class-action lawsuit. In February 2022, the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a lawsuit against Bitconnect that the Securities Act of 1933 extends to targeted solicitation using social media.
On March 22, 2022, Major League Baseball introduced a new rule that allows for a pitcher in the batting order to remain in the game as a designated hitter after they are pulled from the pitching mound. The rule was colloquially dubbed the "Ohtani rule" because of Ohtani's unique prowess as a two-way player. The rule will enable Ohtani to remain in the game after he is done pitching at his customary designated hitter spot instead of being switched to a defensive position like the outfield, something that he did seven times in 2021.
In his first pitching start against the Chicago White Sox on Sunday Night Baseball on April 4, 2021, he threw 4⅔ innings, allowing one earned run and two unearned runs. During that start, he struck out seven batters. Additionally, Ohtani batted second in the lineup. He went 1-for-3, hitting a 450-foot solo home run on the first pitch he faced.
On July 20, 2021, Ohtani signed an exclusive multiyear memorabilia deal with Fanatics.
On December 22, 2021, The Sporting News released the article "The 50 greatest seasons in sports history, ranked". In it, Ohtani's 2021 season was ranked No.1, topping great seasons by athletes such as Babe Ruth, Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, Wayne Gretzky, and Lionel Messi.
Following an injury-plagued 2019 and 2020, Ohtani would go on to have a 2021 season widely considered to be historic, as he became the first in the history of MLB with 10+ home runs and 20+ stolen bases as a hitter and 100+ strikeouts and 10+ pitching appearances as a pitcher in the same season while also holding at least a share of the major league lead in home runs in 14 starts. Because of his elite contributions both offensively and as a pitcher, a rarity for two-way players, Ohtani's peak is widely considered among the greatest in baseball history, with some comparing it favorably to the early career of Babe Ruth. For his efforts, he was awarded the 2021 American League Most Valuable Player Award. He followed this in 2022 by becoming the first player in the modern era to qualify for both the hitting and pitching leaderboards in one season, reaching the thresholds of 3.1 plate appearances and one inning pitched per game with 586 at bats and 166 innings pitched.
Ohtani finished his 2022 season with a 15–9 record, a 2.33 ERA and 219 strikeouts in 166 innings. He also hit .273/.356/.519 with 34 homers, 30 doubles, 11 stolen bases, and 95 RBIs in 157 games. Among AL pitchers, Ohtani finished the year first in SO/9 innings rate (11.87), third in strikeouts (219), fourth in ERA (2.33) and tied for fourth in wins (15), while amongst AL hitters, Ohtani ranked fourth in homers (34), fifth in OPS (.875), fifth in total bases (304), third in intentional walks (14), tied for third in extra-base hits (70), fifth in slugging (.519), tied for fourth in triples (6), seventh in RBIs (95), seventh in walks (72), and tied for eighth in runs (90). Ohtani also led the majors with a home-to-first average time of 4.09 seconds, and was the only player in the majors to tally at least six triples and 34 home runs in 2022 (making him the only player to do so in a second consecutive year). He hit a ball with the highest exit velocity in major league baseball for the season, at 119.1 mph. He also had the fastest speed running from home plate to first base, at 4.09 seconds.
Ohtani is the cover athlete of MLB The Show 22 and is the first Asian player to be featured as the cover star of MLB: The Show. On February 9, 2022, Ohtani appeared in the Nintendo Direct to promote MLB The Show 22, as it was the first installment in the franchise to appear on a Nintendo console. In the direct, two versions of Ohtani, one in hitting gear, the other in pitching gear, stood side by side holding devices. The use of Ohtani to promote it was seen as tying to his Japanese nationality, as Nintendo is based in Japan.
As of April 2022 , Ohtani endorsement earnings tripled from 2021 to an estimated MLB league-leading $20 million off the field, proving to be a marketing hit on both sides of the Pacific, with a group of 15 partnerships that included renewals among his partners Fanatics, Topps and Panini in the U.S. and Asics, Descente and Hugo Boss in Japan, as well as new deals with FTX, Kowa, Mitsubishi Bank and Salesforce.
Ohtani recorded two home runs, including a grand slam, on May 9, 2022, against the Tampa Bay Rays, marking the second time of the 2022 season and the eighth time in his career for Ohtani to record a multi-homer game, surpassing Ichiro Suzuki for the most by a Japanese-born player in MLB history, while also going 3-for-4 and a career-high five RBIs. The grand slam was the first of his professional career, including both NPB and MLB. On May 14, 2022, Ohtani hit his 100th career MLB home run, making him the third Japanese-born player with at least 100 homers in the majors, trailing only Hideki Matsui with 175 and Ichiro Suzuki with 117. Ohtani also joined Babe Ruth as the only players with at least 100 home runs and at least 250 strikeouts as a pitcher.
On June 9, 2022, Ohtani hit a go-ahead two-run home run and pitched seven innings, including throwing a 101 mph fastball to strike out Rafael Devers to end the third – the hardest strikeout pitch of his career, in a 5–2 win over the Boston Red Sox to end the Angels' 14-game losing streak, the longest in franchise history. The victory resulted in a six-game pitching span from June 9 to July 13, where Ohtani went 6–0 with a 0.45 ERA (39.2 IP & 2 ER) and 58 strikeouts, (while also hitting eight HR with a .997 OPS), while becoming the fourth pitcher all-time to go 6–0 with 58+ SO and 2-or-fewer ER in a six-game span, joining Cy Young winners Johan Santana (2004), R.A. Dickey (2012) and Clayton Kershaw (2014).
In August 2022, Ohtani became a brand ambassador for Porsche Japan as part of their 'Porsche Driving Athlete' family.
In a game against the Oakland Athletics where he pitched and hit, Ohtani completed three historical feats on August 9, 2022. Ohtani joined Babe Ruth in an exclusive 10-homer, 10-win club; moved up on the all-time home run list for Japanese-born players; and set a single-season career high in strikeouts. Ohtani tossed six scoreless innings to earn his 10th win of the season for the first time in his Major League career. He and Babe Ruth are the only two players in AL and NL history to win at least 10 games on the mound and hit at least 10 home runs in the same season. Ed Rile and Bullet Rogan also accomplished this feat in the Negro leagues as well. Ohtani's 25th home run of the season was his 118th career home run, which surpassed Ichiro Suzuki's 117 career home runs to become second place on the all-time Major League home run list for Japanese-born players. Ohtani's five strikeouts in the game brought him to 157 on the season, a new single-season high eclipsing his 2021 total of 156. Combined with his playing days in Nippon Professional Baseball, Ohtani reached 1,000 strikeouts between NPB (624) and MLB (379).
In 2023, it was announced that Ohtani was now an ambassador for New Balance, and would wear their gear on the field. Ohtani had previously worn exclusive Asics gear on field, before making the transition to New Balance.
On May 10, 2023, Ohtani struck out Jeremy Peña of the Houston Astros for his 502nd career pitching strikeout, passing Babe Ruth on the all-time strikeout list. With the feat, Ohtani also set the record for most pitching strikeouts by a player with 100 home runs.
On June 27, 2023, against the Chicago White Sox, Ohtani struck out 10 batters and hit two home runs while going 3–3 at bat, becoming the sixth pitcher in major league history to have had at least 10 strikeouts and two home runs in a game.