Shohei Ohtani is officially a force to be reckoned with.
The Los Angeles Angels rookie homered in his third straight game, helping the Angels to a 13-9 win against the Oakland Athletics on Friday night. And his latest was by far his most impressive.
Ohtani launched a mammoth second-inning solo shot off Athletics right-hander Daniel Gossett that reached the rock pile in center field at Angel Stadium.
That’s more commonly known as Mike Trout or Albert Pujols territory. Apparently Ohtani wants us to know he’s capable of hitting home runs to any part of the ballpark too. The blast was estimated at 449 feet.
— David Adler (@_dadler) April 7, 2018
Ohtani has silenced his doubters every time he’s taken the field as a hitter and a pitcher during the regular season. His hitting though might be the best story of the young season. Not much was expected after he hit .125 with 10 strikeouts in 32 spring training at-bats. What he’s doing now is reminding us why spring training results rarely tell the whole story.
Ohtani looks comfortable at the plate, and so far anyway he’s proving to be a dangerous hitter.
Shohei Ohtani leads the major leagues in slugging percentage (1.067), among players with at least 15 at-bats. #Angels
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) April 7, 2018
That was his slugging percentage immediately after Friday’s home run. It would be his only hit in five plate appearances. Ohtani also drew a bases loaded walk and struck out once. It’s a very small sample size, but the results are both encouraging and impressive.
The good news for the A’s is that Ohtani won’t be in the Angels lineup on Saturday. Of course, the bad news is that’s because he’s scheduled to pitch against them on Sunday afternoon. Ohtani allowed three runs over six innings to win his pitching debut in Oakland last Sunday, so they’ve seen the damage he can do as a two-way player firsthand.
Based on Ohtani’s early success, the A’s will only be the first in a long line of teams to get the full Shohei Ohtani experience.
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