Baseball

First Impression: Shohei Ohtani

Shohei Ohtani, international two-way phenom, from Japan, has made his way to The Show. After a rigorous recruiting season, Ohtani decided to sign with the Los Angeles Angels, where he agreed to a 6-year contract. But is he living up to the hype?
Ohtani, who had an impressive 1.86 ERA and 174 strikeouts over 140 innings in 2016, did not look himself in his first spring outing. The 23-year-old right hander did get a fastball across at 97mph, while throwing his off-speed curve at 69. However, he seemed to lack control over his fastball. Ohtani allowed 2 runs, one being earned, along with two hits in just 1 ⅓ innings pitched. He was scheduled to go 2 innings.
Leading off the second inning Keon Broxton took him to a 1-1 count, before belting a home run over the left field fence.
In 1 ⅓ he threw 31 pitches, while only 17 were strikes (54%). Five of his seven batters faced received a first pitch ball. While he did manage to record two strikeouts in the first inning, he also walked the third batter, Ji-Man Choi, and allowed Jonathan Villar to double after working a 3-1 count.
Ohtani was also responsible for a wild pitch in the first inning, which his catcher, Martin Maldonado then threw away attempting to get the runner at second, allowing a run to score, unearned.
The phenom was also coveted for his hitting. While slugging a .332 batting average in 2017 in Japan, Ohtani was able to impress with two walks and a RBI single in his debut at the plate, on three plate appearances for the Angels. Ohtani is known to be patient at the plate where he walked in over ten percent of his plate appearances over his five year career with the Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan.
While it is still too early to tell where Ohtani will make his mark in The Show, it seems as though he has adjusted better at the plate, than on the mound.

Picture Credit: TheAtlantic.Com

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