CC Sabathia has been involved with Major League Baseball for over two decades. He's watched the game for even longer.
In all that time, he's witnessed and suited up alongside some of the best to ever play baseball. We're talking future Hall of Famers, All Stars, World Series winners and more.
Last week, the former Yankees left-hander revealed who he believes is the most talented player he's ever laid eyes on and it's not necessarily the individual you would expect.
“I keep saying this, and people always laugh at me when I say this, but he’s the best baseball player I’ve ever seen in my life," Sabathia said of Los Angeles Angels' two-way star Shohei Ohtani. “Are you kidding me? He can hit the ball 900 feet and throw 99 [mph] off the mound. Who else can do that? Who else is doing that, bro? There's nobody else is doing that at the big-league level.’’
Sabathia made that comment on Uninterrupted's R2C2 podcast, leaving host Ryan Ruocco at a loss for words.
Let that sink in for a moment.
New York's former ace, who played in the league for 19 years before his retirement after this past season, believes someone who's played less than two full seasons in the Majors is the best he's ever seen.
Ohtani came over from Japan, joining the Angels ahead of the 2018 season as a pitcher and outfielder hybrid. As a 23-year-old, Ohtani was the American League Rookie of the Year. He struck out 63 across 51 2/3 innings pitched (and 10 games started) while hitting 22 home runs with a .285 batting average in 104 games played.
Sabathia has a point. Can you think of anyone else that can do that in today's game, or even in the last several decades for that matter?
Ohtani underwent Tommy John surgery, so he hasn't pitched since his stellar rookie performance, but he was poised for a return to dominance on both sides of the ball in 2020.
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