Many MLB hitting coaches are encouraging players to be more aggressive and swing at the first pitch they see during an at-bat, especially against specific pitchers.
Pitchers often try to set the tone of the at-bat with a strike, and that means the ball will be in the strike zone.
We saw a perfect example of this in the All-Star Game.
Ohtani was later picked off by Kershaw, but with the hit, he made some history.
Shohei Ohtani is just the third player in AL/NL history to get a hit on the first pitch of the #AllStarGame.
He joins Mike Trout (2013) and Kirby Puckett (1986). pic.twitter.com/FPfcATeO4P
— Baseball Reference (@baseball_ref) July 20, 2022
Another Cool Achievement For Ohtani
That’s some good company right there.
It’s actually somewhat surprising that only three players have gotten hits on the very first pitch of an All-Star Game.
It’s a sound strategy in the right situation.
Kershaw is a future Hall of Famer, but is known for pounding the zone relentlessly with strikes with all his pitches.
Ohtani noticed this and decided to jump on a pitch early in the count: it’s when most hittable pitches occur.
In fact, the Angels star said after the game he was swinging at the first pitch no matter what.
The world didn’t see him pitch, but was able to watch the most unique player ever to step on a major league field do his thing from the batter’s box for a while.
Put another historical achievement on Ohtani’s record.