If baseball history is your thing, then Sunday night's matchup between the Los Angeles Angels and the Chicago White Sox was for you. Angels' two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani finally got to pitch and hit in a major league game that was years in the making.
Pitchers who rake are usually more of a novelty. But not Ohtani.
He became the first pitcher to hit second in the lineup since Jack Dunleavy did it for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1903. Since the designated hitter became available in the American League in 1973, only a handful of pitchers have hit for themselves in games hosted by AL teams. Ken Brett did it twice in 1976; Andy Sonnanstine hit for himself in 2009 as the result of a mistake on the lineup card; and Madison Bumgarner, then with the San Francisco Giants, hit for himself in an interleague game against the Oakland A's in 2016.
This could be the year Ohtani finally breaks out. Here are five other players poised for big seasons as well. It's a small sample size after only a handful of games, but these six players are making some noise as the season gets underway.
LF Clint Frazier, New York Yankees
Clint Frazier was once a can't-miss prospect, part of the rise of the Baby Bombers. Then there were injuries and issues stemming from a concussion that kept him out of action. He was also buried on the depth chart with the New York Yankees boasting a loaded outfield.
But he was a Gold Glove finalist in right field last season when he played in place of the injured Aaron Judge, leading manager Aaron Boone to award him the starting left field job this season. Now, Frazier looks like he's ready to prove that he can produce as an everyday player.
In the Yankees' opening series against the Toronto Blue Jays, he went 4-for-9 with two doubles, two walks and two runs scored. However, he did had trouble tracking down fly balls in the sun during the series, but those few misreads don't seem to be indicative of a larger problem.
When asked if he thinks he's a good left fielder by ESPN's Marly Rivera as part of an ongoing dialogue between the two about the position, he didn't hesitate to assert himself.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," he said, emphatically. "Three yeahs."
The confidence is there. Frazier is continuing to make the most of his opportunities.
3B Ke'Bryan Hayes, Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pittsburgh Pirates' top prospect started off his major league career with a bang, launching a two-run homer in his first at-bat of the season. Through two games, he went 1-for-5 with a walk and that home run, giving Pirates fans a glimmer of hope for the future. The 24-year-old is only 26 games into his big league career, but he's already the face of the franchise.
However, he hit his first stumbling block Saturday. The knob of the bat hit his wrist, and while X-rays came back negative, an MRI showed inflammation. He was placed on the 10-day injured list.
Hayes is still the front-runner for the NL Rookie of the Year award. The son of former MLB third baseman Charlie Hayes is a five-tool player that can breathe some much-needed life into the Pittsburgh organization. This injury doesn't sound like anything serious, so Hayes should still get a chance to pick up where he left off when he returns.