Some fantasy baseball providers are making Ohtani one player, others will split him up as a hitter and pitcher.
ESPN has finally decided how to treat Shohei Ohtani as a fantasy player.
The Angels’ two-way star will be one player, ESPN announced Wednesday, and fantasy players can choose to start him in a pitcher or DH/utility spot during each scoring period—but not both.
In the Yahoo format, Ohtani likely won’t be worth rostering as a hitter. He’s not going to be the everyday DH on days he’s not pitching—that would simply be too taxing for a player already faced with a transition to a new league on a new continent.
If he counts as only one player, though, it could make sense to start him periodically as a hitter. Various projection systems, based on his stats from Japan, foresee him as an above-average hitter this season.
But the bulk of Ohtani’s value will come as a pitcher. Different projection systems agree that Ohtani will be worth about three WAR, making him one of the 20 or so most valuable pitchers in the majors.