Asia’s best bat isn’t Ohtani? maybe it really is

Ohtani Shohei (29‧ LA Angels) is a player who continues the lineage of Asian top-class beasts. It is clearly in a unique position in the major league challenge of Asian players, where fielders did not use much power compared to pitchers.먹튀검증

Ohtani, who entered the major leagues by signing with the Los Angeles Angels in 2018, had a lot of ups and downs as a pitcher. Due to elbow ligament reconstruction surgery (Tommy John surgery), he only played 10 games in 2018, did not pitch at all in 2019, and only played 2 games in 2020, which was a shortened season. However, apart from that, he continued to build up his grades as a fielder. Now, the cumulative record is quite good.

Since his debut in 2018, Ohtani has played 624 major league games so far this year, with a batting average of 0.268, 142 home runs, 382 RBIs, and an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.886. Ohtani’s OPS during this period was 39% higher than the league average. In particular, in 2021, when he became the American League Most Valuable Player (MVP), he recorded 46 homers, 100 RBIs, 26 stolen bases, and an OPS of 0.965 in 155 games, even contending for the best hitter.

However, his last two years have not been able to show the scoring productivity of 2021. Last year, he had good results of 34 homers, 95 RBIs, and an OPS of 0.875 in 157 games, but it was not the result of an ‘S-class hitter’. He’s batting .274 with 15 homers, 40 RBIs and an OPS of .888 in his first 58 games this year. He is still good, but his batting average and on-base percentage are somewhat disappointing.

Still, it was an unmatchable achievement compared to Asian beasts. This is because it is difficult to find a case where an Asian beast recorded an OPS of 0.850 or higher. Apparently, there was a limit to the long hit. But this year, Ohtani’s title of ‘Asia’s best hitter’ is under threat. It will still be known after more time has passed, but the momentum of Masataka Yoshida (30, Boston), a senior of one year for the national team, is not formidable.

Ahead of this season, Yoshida, who signed a five-year contract with Boston worth 90 million dollars and a total of more than 100 million dollars including the posting amount, has erased all concerns before the season. He had a sluggish period in the beginning, but it could be said that it was an adjustment period, and rather, he took that adjustment period short and has now become an indispensable hitter in Boston.

Yoshida is not a player who can hit home runs like Ohtani. However, his sophistication is better than that of Ohtani, and his ability to produce long hits with doubles or more is an aspect that his scoring production is never outdone. Although he lacks power, he also has advantages over Ohtani, such as a low swing rate in his approach at the plate and a lack of being fooled by manned pitches. He can tell just by looking at his performance this season.

Yoshida has a batting average of 0.314, 7 homers, 32 RBIs and an OPS of 0.899 in 50 games this season. He is much higher in batting average and on-base percentage than Ohtani. Ohtani, who hits a lot of homers, seems to have a much higher slugging percentage (.540), but Yoshida also has a formidable slugging percentage of .505. His 23 walks while striking out 22 is a remarkable metric.

The two players are fiercely competing for the top spot in Asia in the ranking table of adjusted goal production (wRC+), which measures a hitter’s pure goal production. According to the tally of the statistics website ‘Fan Graph’, as of the 4th (Korean time), Ohtani’s wRC+ is 140, ranking 23rd in the league. In the past, there was no big problem in defending the best title in Asia. But this year, because of Yoshida, things are different.

Yoshida’s wRC+ is 146, which is 15th in the league, higher than Ohtani’s. Although the overall win contribution (WAR) is lower than the attack power due to the limitation of poor defense, Yoshida has nothing to lose compared to Ohtani when it comes to the bat alone.

But there are variables. Ohtani is a player in his 6th year in the major leagues this year. He also has a lot of experience running full-time. It is also a situation where all weaknesses have already been analyzed. There is definitely a manual for dealing with Ohtani. Conversely, Yoshida has yet to play full-time in the major leagues, and it is highly likely that the opposing teams will begin a fierce counterattack. If Yoshida overcomes this hurdle, the competition between the two players in offense in the major leagues is likely to become more interesting.

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