Is Michael Lorenzen the Most Successful Hitting Pitcher in Baseball?

Michael Lorenzen #21. Photo by John Fisher/CSM/Shutterstock (8991659ao)

Shohei Ohtani was the most sought after free agent a few offseasons ago based on his ability to both hit and pitch at a major league level. That is a talent that nobody has done successfully since Babe Ruth, and Ohtani was supposed to bring it back to baseball almost a century later.

After injuries kept him from pitching more than a few games, the Angels decided to use him primarily as a DH, so that he wouldn’t have to do too much, which caused him to not play at all. As the talk died down of a dual pitcher- hitter, a new name has come up this season- Michael Lorenzen.

Last week Lorenzen became the second player to hit a home run, pitch, and play in the field, all in the same game. The only other player to do this was Babe Ruth in 1921. Lorenzen didn’t just play any position, he was put in centerfield, the outfield position with the most talent needed.

On Sunday, Lorenzen was called in to pinch-hit with the winning run in scoring position. A pitcher pinch-hitting is an incredibly rare move to see, but it paid off as he roped a walk-off double down the left-field line. Lorenzen continues to amaze at the plate and the question remains, is he accomplishing what Ohtani wasn’t able to?