Designated Hitter - Los Angeles Angels
Height: 6' 4"
Date of Birth: July 5, 1994 (26 years old)
Angels' Shohei Ohtani: Hits 97 on radar gun Wednesday
Ohtani said his fastball reached 97 mph during Wednesday's live batting practice session, Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reports.There was some pessimism about Ohtani's pitching outlook after he topped out at just 90 mph during a bullpen session last Thursday, but the right-hander proved that those concerns were overblown during his time on the mound Wednesday. Notably, Ohtani hit 97 mph only once during his brief stint as a pitcher last season. The 26-year-old indicated that his elbow feels "much better" compared to 2020, and he could be poised for a bounceback as a hurler if he's able to keep healthy throughout the campaign.
Angels' Shohei Ohtani: Hoping for Driveline boost
Ohtani worked with Driveline Baseball over the offseason as part of a plan to get back to his desired level on the mound, Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic reports.The two-way phenom has yet to fully deliver on his considerable promise, with Tommy John surgery limiting him to just 12 starts over his first three MLB seasons, including two disastrous outings after he got back on the mound last year. It's not clear exactly what he worked on at Driveline, though he was seen using the company's trademark weighted ball workouts in camp. There's no guarantee that working with Driveline will instantly vault Ohtani into a new tier as a pitcher, but the trip provides one explanation should he showcase a new skill set early in the season. Early reports from camp have been mostly negative, as he topped out at just 90 mph in his first bullpen session, but he didn't seem concerned with his velocity. Fantasy drafters may not share his optimism given his history, but there's every chance his velocity rebounds as his spring buildup continues.
Angels' Shohei Ohtani: Set for full two-way role
Ohtani will enter camp as a full two-way player, Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic reports.There was little reason to believe Ohtani wouldn't be a two-way player this season, but it's still good to see it confirmed after he was shut down from pitching following two disastrous starts last year. Despite his considerable hype, Ohtani has now spent three full seasons in the majors and has yet to be a two-way player for any one full campaign. Elbow issues ended his time on the mound just 10 starts into his debut season and eventually led to Tommy John surgery, which kept him as purely a designated hitter in 2019. His awful outings on the mound in 2020 can be explained away by his recovery from that procedure, but it's still hard to have complete confidence that things will finally go well for him in his fourth MLB season.
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