Shohei Ohtani's Eligibility In 2022 Remains The Same

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Greg Ambrosius
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Shohei Ohtani's Eligibility In 2022 Remains The Same

Post by Greg Ambrosius » Thu Sep 23, 2021 8:51 am

Shohei Ohtani has a very good chance of becoming this year's American League MVP as he has compiled one of the greatest seasons in MLB history. He has hit .256-45-95 with 23 stolen bases and 95 Runs through Wednesday's games, while also going 9-2 on the mound with a 3.26 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 146 strikeouts.

We have not seen a player of this caliber at the plate and on the mound perform this well since Babe Ruth more than a century ago. Ruth won 9 games in 1919 and led the majors in Home Runs, RBIs and Runs that same year.

We also have NEVER seen an MLB player perform so well at the plate and on the mound in fantasy baseball history, since Rotisserie Baseball wasn't created until 1980. Ohtani has become adept at two positions at a time when fantasy leagues can only account for him at one spot at a time.

Since his emergence in 2018, we have allowed Ohtani to be drafted as one player and the owner who has Ohtani on his/her roster can then decide each week whether to use him as a hitter or as a pitcher, but not as both during that week. We also don't split Ohtani into two players -- Ohtani the hitter and Ohtani the pitcher -- allowing him to amass different stats on two different rosters.

What we've decided to do in 2022 is the same as we've done to this point: Ohtani can be used each week as a pitcher OR as a hitter, but not both.

I'll explain our reasoning here:

1) One option would be to allow him to accumulate hitting AND pitching stats each week as one player. If you put him in as a DH or as a pitcher, he would get ALL of his stats. It would be like having one extra player on your roster. No, it WOULD BE one extra player accumulating stats on your roster. In fact, in Cutline scoring, he's accumulated 777 points as a hitter and 343 points as a pitcher, easily the highest total in baseball. He would be the immediate cheat code and the immediate No. 1 overall pick. You would have to program him individually to be the only player to receive hitting AND pitching stats and there would be no leeway to bench him at either position during any week that he is in your starting lineup. We discussed this and didn't think this option was practical. It's a programming nightmare that would affect all pitchers and it would drastically slow down Live Scoring, Live Standings and have ripple effects across every aspect of our scoring system. It opens up more problems than solutions.

2) A second option would be to allow him to be drafted as one player, but used in two different spots by the team that he is on. In other words, Ohtani would be drafted as one player, but the team he is on would suddenly have Ohtani DH and Ohtani P, thus basically having 31 options/31 roster spots each week instead of 30. This would allow that team to start him only at DH or only at P or at both as part of their 14 starting hitters and 9 starting pitchers. Again, it would be like having one extra player even though you drafted only 30 players. Again, it's not easy to add a 31st spot for one team per league and opens up more programming problems than solutions.

3) The third option was to split him into two players: Ohtani the DH and Ohtani the P. He could be drafted twice and used by two different teams. Again, this is something we could have done in 2018 and didn't feel it was the best solution, so going to that now certainly doesn't make sense. This one is not an option in the NFBC.

So we stayed with the setup we have, which allows Ohtani to be used as a hitter OR a pitcher each week. This will be the case for all NFBC leagues in 2022. He is a special, special player and worthy of the AL's MVP award in 2021. He is the only player who has this dual eligibility and hopefully he continues to dominate at the plate and on the mound in 2022 and for years to come. He's good for baseball and he's good for fantasy baseball.

I hope this helps before 2022 NFBC drafts begin. Good luck all.
Greg Ambrosius
Founder, National Fantasy Baseball Championship
General Manager, Consumer Fantasy Games at SportsHub Technologies
Twitter - @GregAmbrosius

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