Around this time four years ago, during the last tour of Japan by major league players, the MLB world at large got its first real glimpse of Shohei Ohtani.

After pitching an inning of relief in the opener of that 2014 Nichibei Yakyu series, Ohtani, starting on his home mound at Sapporo Dome, struck out seven of the major leaguers in Game 5. He allowed two unearned runs and took the loss.

It was clear then Ohtani was destined for MLB, and he realized that dream this season with the Los Angeles Angels. He was so good, in fact, he was named the 2018 American League Rookie of the Year on Monday, becoming the first Japanese player to win the honor since Ichiro Suzuki in 2001. He's the fourth Japanese winner overall, also joining Hideo Nomo (1995) and Kazuhiro Sasaki (2000). Ohtani received 25 of the 30 first-place votes.