Shohei Ohtani has been everything the Los Angeles Angels could've possibly dreamt he'd become when they signed him. He'd be an elite player if he was limited to just hitting or just pitching, yet we're so lucky to see him do both.
Ohtani's game is nearly perfect as is, but there's one small flaw in his game and he'd be even better if he was able to improve.
Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani needs to improve his base-stealing efficiency
Shohei Ohtani's game is obviously outstanding, but if he's able to become a true elite base-stealing threat, that'd take his game to yet another level.
Everyone knows about Ohtani's ability to hit triple digits with his fastball and hit 450+ foot home runs, but not enough people talk about his speed. Ohtani ranked in the 93rd percentile in sprint speed in 2020 and the 91st percentile in 2021 according to baseball savant. That number did go down this past season to the 75th percentile, but he was at 28.3 feet per second which isn't too far of a drop from the 28.8 he had in 2020 and 2021.
Ohtani is one of the fastest players in baseball, so you'd think he'd have the ability to steal bases efficiently. That assumption has been incorrect so far.
Ohtani stole just 29 bases in his first three seasons. He then stole 26 bags in 2021 alone but was caught 10 times which led the league. That number dropped all the way down to 11 in 2022 and he was caught nine times.
11 stolen bases in 20 attempts is pretty putrid, especially with someone as fast as Ohtani. He doesn't have to steal 30 bases, but if he can do it more efficiently, the Angels would benefit.
With bigger bases and pickoff limits going into effect, we should see an uptick in stolen bases. Hopefully Ohtani can be among the leaders in that area.
He's obviously the best player in the game, this would just be another area he'd be elite in if he becomes a good base stealer.