Every week, Shohei Ohtani proves time and time again that he is revolutionizing the game of baseball. Seeing the Japanese player in highlight reels has become a routine, and why not? What he does on the field is simply extraordinary.
On the mound, he can throw a 102 mph fastball, then stand in the batter's box and smack the ball at 119 mph, plus reach a speed of 19.8 mph while running the bases. Ohtani is a superhero with special baseball-playing powers.
Putting aside the MVP Award discussion for 2022, which should be won by Aaron Judge; the Japanese slugger is working towards something bigger and unreachable in baseball history by dominating two totally different facets of the game.
This Thursday, Ohtani came out to pitch against the Athletics with a completely different game plan than usual, executing just four four-seam fastballs out of 108 pitches. The Japanese held a no-hitter for 7.2 IP, in an outing where he struck out 10 batters. Performances like these remind us, time and time again, that Ohtani is probably not human.
Hits the ball with extreme violence
Leaving a pitch hanging in Ohtani's zone means that the ball will be slaughtered like never before. Many times we have seen the Japanese star hit the ball with an exit velocity of above 115 mph, because it's not just a matter of getting a hit or getting on base, he wants to smash the ball as hard as possible.
And from that intention of bursting the ball with violence, a high number of home runs are produced in each season, where he battles side by side with the best in his league.
We already talked about how hard Ohtani hits the ball, but another extraordinary aspect is watching him send the ball to the moon, connecting home runs that easily exceed 450 feet.
Yes, we know Ohtani can throw the ball 102 mph with ease, but that's just one weapon in his vast arsenal with which he typically challenges opposing hitters. The Japanese slider abruptly changes course, making a fool of his opponents after falling right on the edge of the strike zone.
Not to mention his Matrix-like reflexes, with which he is able to catch the ball to get runners out, and even dodge broken bats headed in his direction.
Many pitchers dream of reaching 99 mph with their fastballs, and they work for it every day of their lives. Ohtani is capable of reaching that velocity with his sinker. In this video, we can see Jose Altuve, one of the best players of his generation, missing Ohtani's pitch and then laughing, because there was nothing else to do in front of such a laser beam.
He runs as if his life depends on it
Being a 210 lb man and 6'4'' tall, you would expect Shohei Ohtani to not be a fast guy when running the bases, but once again, the Japanese came to the Show to defy any belief.
Last season he stole 26 bases, and although he has decreased his number of attempts this season, he is still a gazelle while running the bases. Reaching a top speed of nearly 20 mph while running the bases once again proves that Ohtani is a freak of nature. Period.