He is a freak of nature capable of being a feared slugger and a top pitcher at the same time.
Here are some of his coolest stats so far in 2021.
3. 13.6 Percentage Of Barrels/Plate Appearances – League Leader
Among qualified hitters, Ohtani is the leader in percentage of barrels per plate appearance, with 13.6 percent.
For reference, barrels are the ideal batted ball because balls hit at similar exit velocity and launch angles have led to a minimum .500 average and 1.500 slugging percentage since Statcast has been keeping track (2015).
Consider that, according to the league’s official site, the average barrel in 2016 had a batting average of .822 and a 2.386 slugging percentage.
Barreled balls travel at a minimum of 98 mph at ideal launch angles: not low enough to be grounders, but also not high to be pop-ups.
In other words, Ohtani destroys the ball with frequency and often achieves the best type of contact quality.
It’s just amazing that someone who can pitch so well as him can also do that much damage at the highest of levels.
2. 119 Mph – Max Exit Velocity
Another proof that Ohtani’s swing is equipped to do damage is that he currently holds the second hardest-hit ball in MLB.
Ohtani hit a ball at 119 mph in 2021, and only Giancarlo Stanton, Statcast’s favorite son, has hit one harder than him this campaign, at 120.1.
Players who have hit a ball 119 MPH+ since Statcast started tracking in 2015:
And now Shohei Ohtani.
— Daren Willman (@darenw) April 13, 2021
Ohtani can really do it all on a baseball field: he can bat, he can pitch, he can play the outfield, and he can also run like the wind.
But boy, he can hit a ball hard and far.
However, he is not your typical all-or-nothing slugger that hits the ball hard and will post a low average.
He has an impressive .262/.349/.602 line with 17 home runs and a .951 OPS.
He inflicts damage, and does it frequently.
1. 91st Percentile Strikeout Rate… As A Pitcher
As you know, Ohtani, besides being one of the league’s top sluggers, is one of the league’s top pitchers.
Yes, all at once.
He can hit a ball 119 mph, and he can throw a ball 100 mph.
In the top of the 1st, Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani was throwing 100 MPH… He then came to bat and did this
GOTTA LOVE THIS MAN!
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) April 5, 2021
He is a true freak of nature.
You could say, however, that anybody can hit a ball that far while throwing it 100 mph to home plate.
But one has to factor control and arsenal: in other words, the ability to pitch and not just “throw”.
Ohtani, so far, has a 2.76 ERA in eight starts and 42.1 innings pitched.
But the most impressive stat about his resume is the frequency with which he gets strikeouts.
The Japanese phenomenon has 60 strikeouts so far, good for a 34.1 strikeout percentage.
That means he strikes out 34.1 of the batters he faces, more than a third.
That strikeout percentage is in the 91st percentile of all MLB, which means that it’s comfortably in the top 10 percent of the league.
Hitters are not supposed to pitch this well, and hurlers are not supposed to be so good at batting.
With Ohtani, there will always be fun stats to follow.