The fact that pitcher Shohei Otani’s “genius” proves that all five types of first-class pitches “play with the batter” | Full Account

One of the reasons why he has evolved as a pitcher… a US reporter “has several of the best fields in baseball”

Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani finished the 2022 season with an evolution on the mound. In the Athletics game on the 5th (6th Japan time), the last game of the season, he could not get a win, but he reached the regular pitching inning. In addition, “MLB Network” featured in the program called “the genius of Shohei Ohtani” for the style of two swords that created history.

Unlike last season, when he fought for the home run kingship and left a strong impression on the “batter Otani,” this season he also stood out as a pitcher. He played in 28 games with 15 wins and 9 losses, an ERA of 2.33, 166 innings, and 219 strikeouts. He achieved career high results overall.

One of the reasons why he has overwhelmed the best hitters in the major leagues is the variety of pitch types. Reporter Tom Berducci, an MLB insider who appeared on the program, also emphasized, “Shohei Ohtani has some of the best balls in baseball.” As proof of that, we show intensive data of each type of pitch.

・ The slider’s lateral change (at 7.6 inches) is No. 1 in MLB
2nd in MLB for split batting average (.125)
・ Sinker’s average ball speed (97.3 mph) ranks second in MLB
・ A four-strike hitter’s perceived velocity (98.2 mph) ranks second in MLB
・ Perceived breaking ball speed (91.5 mph) ranks 3rd in MLB

Reporter Berducci expressed surprise, saying, “I’ve never seen a pitcher like this.” Taking Pedro Martinez, who boasts three Cy Young Awards as an example, as the closest pitcher, “He (Martinez) had three types of decision pitches, but this guy (Ohtani) has five types of decision pitches. Not is show ball, is real winning ball, and this guy is a unicorn on the mound.”

During the NPB era, attention was focused on the fastball, but after gaining experience in the majors, he became a first class player in almost every type of ball. In response to the greatness of the program, he said, “First of all, if you were a catcher, it would be fun to catch his ball. With so many weapons, catchers can play with hitters. We can hit our weaknesses,” said another voice.

(Full Account editorial section)

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