Ohtani is the best hitter of this season, as well as one of the better pitchers in the game.
Ohtani has hit .279/.364/.700 this season with an OPS of 1.064 and 32 home runs. He’s driven in 69 runs and scored 63 of his own. He’s even hit four triples up to this point.
He leads the league in homers and slugging percentage, second in OPS, and third in RBI (despite being our second-hole hitter). He can play the field, and he has a 3.49 ERA on the mound, while striking out 11.7 batters per nine innings as the Halos’ Ace. Crazy things is; the numbers get even better.
Shohei Ohtani’s season has been even more superhuman for the LA Angels than you think.
Shohei Ohtani gives the LA Angels the nastiest splitter of all time.
I’m serious, and if you don’t believe me, check this out:
Mike Petriello did his research, and gathered that in 2018, Ohtani gave up just two hits on his splitter despite throwing it 191 times. Baseball Savant found that it was the most dominant right-handed pitch in baseball.
This year, Ohtani’s chucked that splitter 196 times, and only given up six hits. He’s struck out 49 with it. He’s never given up a single tank from the splitter in his whole career.
Ever since pitch tracking started in ’08, a pitcher has thrown a certain pitch 400 times or more almost 4,500 times.
Petriello found that Ohtani’s splitter has been the third-best of any of those recorded. Indeed, the only two ahead of him were left-handed pitchers.
Ohtani’s splitter is the best right-handed pitch ever recorded.
It’s not the speed. Petriello pointed out that it averages just under 88 mph, which is nice, but not spectacular. It does drop substantially, but it’s the timing that does it.
It looks like his famous four-seam fastball almost the whole time, but drops 19 inches as soon as a hitter tries to commit to a four-seamer.
Petriello included this tweet in the MLB.com article. A perfect way to display what happens when a hitter tries to hit the splitter:
Petriello also found that Shohei’s made similar history on the offensive side.
On April 12th, Ohtani smacked a 119 mph double vs. the Kansas City Royals. That was the hardest-hit baseball ever tracked by a lefty hitter.
That only dates back to 2015, when they began tracking that, but Petriello believes that it indeed is the hardest-hit ball ever.
He points out that Giancarlo Stanton hits the hardest-hit ball of every year and every spring training too.
Therefore, he doesn’t believe anyone could hit a ball harder than Stanton, who consistently maxes out at 121 mph, and Ohtani just came close. Stanton is of course a right-handed batter, and Ohtani is a left-handed batter.
Everybody has been marveling at Shohei Ohtani’s season that has made him easily the AL MVP up to this point. Not everybody, however, truly knows the numbers.
Thanks to Petriello, we’re being introduced to an Ohtani who’s somehow even better than we thought.