Los Angeles Angels slugger Shohei Ohtani continues to produce at a ridiculous pace in the 2021 season. Ohtani‘s remarkable hitting has quickly elevated him to one of the game’s most exciting players to watch. With that in mind, one aspect of his approach to his hitting routine remains flat-out mind-boggling.
Shohei Ohtani continues breakout 2021 campaign
In his fourth MLB season, Ohtani finally broke out to showcase his promising talent with a remarkable first half.
The 26-year-old is putting up a historic year already shattering Hideki Matsui’s single-season record for home runs by a Japanese player (31). As of Sunday, Ohtani leads the league with 33 home runs and a .697 slugging percentage while ranking third with 70 RBI.
Over the last 30 days, he’s batting .308 with 16 home runs, 26 RBI, a .912 slugging percentage, and 23 runs scored. All that has quickly made Ohtani one of the game’s most exciting players, and he’s accomplished it without one particular daily routine.
Angels’ star Shohei Ohtani’s breakout season doesn’t involve 1 notable hitting routine
Ohtani’s impressive start to the 2021 campaign has quickly made him one of the league’s most exciting players to watch.
The 27-year-old’s remarkable production continues to leave fans in awe as he works toward a potential AL MVP bid. Over the last several weeks, his hot hitting stretch has created incredible buzz regarding his approach to hitting.
Angels hitting coach Jeremy Reed recently took the chatter to another level after telling ESPN’s Buster Olney that Ohtani hasn’t participated in batting practice this season.
“He does a few flip drills, he gets ready and then he just rakes,” Olney said via Bleacher Report. “Against the best pitchers in the world.”
Those comments at face value further underline Ohtani’s pure talent as a hitter. However, Reed cleared up his remarks last Friday, stating the slugger doesn’t participate in on-the-field batting practice but does go in the indoor batting cages before games.
“The routine he has is very good, where he keeps repeating where he is, so he doesn’t have to get on the field and watch the ball fly,” Reed said via California News-Times. “I fly regularly in the game.”
Although the truth of the matter is a little different, it’s the fact Ohtani doesn’t participate in batting practice on the field that remains astonishing. It’s a much different feel getting pitches thrown from a pitcher on the field than from a pitching machine in the batting cages.
Nonetheless, what Ohtani continues to accomplish has elevated him to one of the game’s best talents.
Lined up for a massive contract with the Angels
Beyond Ohtani’s production earning him his first All-Star selection and potential AL MVP bid, it’s lined him up for a massive payday.
The 27-year-old holds two years left in his contract worth $8.5 million and will hit arbitration in 2023, then free agency the following year. However, it’s hard to imagine Ohtani reaching the open market.
Given the number of massive contracts worked out each offseason, it’s hard to envision the Angeles waiting to hammer out a lucrative extension to keep him alongside Mike Trout. His next contract will easily top $200 million over several seasons.
The Angels would be foolish to let the situation linger, potentially opening the door to him departing or let the asking price skyrocket more. Time will tell what happens, but Ohtani will have a huge payday shortly if he continues to produce at an elite level.
Contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.