1 Angels player who will benefit most from the banned shift

Los Angeles Angels v Oakland Athletics
Los Angeles Angels v Oakland Athletics / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Angels have a couple of players who stand to benefit from the shift being banned. Someone like Jared Walsh who gets shifted on 72% of the time would stand out but he actually had better numbers when he was shifted on than when he wasn't. Even Mike Trout got shifted against 72% of the time this past season but he also had better numbers while shifted.

Someone who had lots of hits taken away from the shift is, believe it or not, Shohei Ohtani. When the shift gets banned for the 2023 season and beyond, expect Ohtani to be even better than he already is.

Shohei is shifted on a ridiculous amount and has had numerous hits taken away from him for years.

Shohei Ohtani is the LA Angels player who will benefit the most with the banning of the shift.

Shohei Ohtani had 652 plate appearances this past season. In those plate appearances, he saw 576 shifts according to baseball savant. That's 88.% which ranked 26th in baseball this past season and seventh among batters with at least 500 plate appearances. The 576 shifts ranked third in MLB only behind Corey Seager and Kyle Schwarber.

With the shift on, Ohtani had a .363 wOBA which ranked 34th in MLB among batters with at least 500 plate appearances but he was second on that list among batters who were shifted against 60% of the time or more. The only hitter with a higher wOBA while being shifted on at least 60% of the time was Yordan Alvarez who was shifted against 88.1% of the time. Ohtani was still great when shifted against, but it gets better.

In the few at-bats Ohtani did not see a shift, he had a .403 wOBA. The only hitters with a higher wOBA without the shift who also get shifted against 50% of the time or more were Kyle Tucker and M.J. Melendez. Players like Aaron Judge and Paul Goldschmidt ranked higher than Ohtani on this list as well but they weren't shifted against nearly as much. He was one of the best hitters in all of baseball without the shift.

Expect those hits the shift was taking away to get into the hit column for Ohtani and expect an even better offensive season because of it.

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