Pitching grades: Fastball: 80 | Slider: 65 | Curveball: 50 | Splitter: 65 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 70
Hitting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 70 | Run: 65 | Arm: 80 | Field: 50 | Overall: 60
Long considered the best player in the world not affiliated with a Major League organization, Ohtani sparked interest from virtually every club when he announced his intention to come to the United States for the 2018 season. He made the decision despite changes in the Collective Bargaining Agreement that limited his bonus; under the old CBA, he likely would have commanded a contract worth more than $200 million. Known as the Babe Ruth of Japan, Ohtani is a two-way star determined to both hit and pitch in the big leagues. Though he was limited in 2017 by a right ankle injury that required surgery in October, he was Japan's Pacific League MVP when fully healthy the year before. In 2016, he went 10-4 with a 1.86 ERA and 174 strikeouts in 140 innings while batting .322/.416/.588 with 22 homers in 104 games. He took many by surprise when he signed with the Angels for $2,315,000 in December.
The scouting reports on Ohtani as a pitcher almost seem too good to be true. He threw the fastest recorded pitch in Japanese history (102.5 mph in 2016), sits in the upper 90s with late finish on his heater and maintains premium velocity into the late innings. Both his diving splitter, which reaches the low 90s, and his hard slider, which climbs into the high 80s, can be plus-plus pitches at their best. He also employs a curveball and a changeup that are at least average. Though he has an athletic frame and repeatable delivery, his walk rate (3.3 per nine innings) was ordinary in Japan. There was some concern about an elbow issue reported after he signed, and he did receive a plasma injection in October, though the Angels were not overly worried.
While the consensus among scouts is that Ohtani has more upside as a pitcher, he also has the tools to be a star as a hitter. He has top-of-the-scale raw power and launches tape-measure shots with ease from the left side of the plate. He struck out in 27 percent of his plate appearances in Japan, so he doesn't project as a .300 hitter, but he could bat .270 with 30-plus homers per year. He's also a well-above-average runner, though his speed has yet to translate into stolen bases. He has a cannon arm and should be at least an average defender in right field. He can DH with the Angels, which will allow him to get more at-bats and conserve energy for pitching.
Statcast - Pitching
Hard Hit %
Los Angeles Angels activated RHP Shohei Ohtani from the 10-day disabled list.
Los Angeles Angels placed RHP Shohei Ohtani on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to June 7, 2018. Right elbow UCL sprain.
Los Angeles Angels selected the contract of RHP Shohei Ohtani from AZL Angels.
Los Angeles Angels invited non-roster RHP Shohei Ohtani to spring training.
Los Angeles Angels signed free agent RHP Shohei Ohtani to a minor league contract.
RHP Shohei Ohtani assigned to AZL Angels.