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#pounditSaturday, August 8, 2020

Shohei Ohtani becomes first Japanese-born player to hit for cycle

Shohei Ohtani

Shohei Ohtani made history on Thursday night in the Los Angeles Angels’ game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Angels DH came out on fire against the Rays, slugging an opposite field 3-run home run in the first. He followed it up with a double in the third, triple in the fourth, and he added a single in the seventh to hit for the cycle as he began the game 4-for-4.

Ohtani became the first Japanese-born player in MLB history to hit for the cycle. The cycle was the second of the season in MLB and first for the Angels since 2013. He had the eighth cycle in Angels history and third at Tropicana Field.

Cycles are cool accomplishments in MLB, but let’s put this one in proper context.

A guy with All-Star-level talent as a pitcher who throws over 97 mph on his fastball also has the ability to hit for a cycle at the big league level, which is something many everyday players have never done. Hitting for the cycle showcases all-around ability as a batter — the ability to hit for power, contact, and the speed to run for extra bases.

How many All-Star-type pitchers can hit opposite field home runs like he can?

He is a truly special player.

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