Watch NPB phenom Shohei Ohtani throw 31 pitches at 98-101 mph in a single game
Usually, the guys who regularly throw over 100 mph are relievers. Even if you filter out Aroldis Chapman, you'll find guys like Dellin Betances atop Statcast's™ list of fastest pitches. Sure, there are a few starters -- like Noah Syndergaard and Carlos Martinez -- who can reach deep down and pull out a 98 mph fastball in the seventh inning.
And then there's Shohei Ohtani, a 21-year-old right-handed starter for the Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan. You've heard us gush about him before, and now it's time to watch him throw 31 pitches between 98-101 mph during his Sunday start against the Hanshin Tigers:
"I wanted him to pitch like he owned the stadium, which he did in the first inning," Ham Fighters manager Hideki Kuriyama told the Japan Times. Ohtani also broke the record for fastest pitch in NPB history in his last start (at 101 mph) and managed to hit that mark three more times during Sunday's game.
The Ham Fighters shut out the Tigers, 6-0. And even though Ohtani didn't get a hit during that particular game (he had two at-bats, and walked once), that doesn't mean he's not a threat at the plate. It's pretty cool that Madison Bumgarner has 13 career home runs over his eight years in MLB, but Ohtani has hit 27 in his four seasons in NPB. Let's watch a couple of those:
So … if Adam Wainwright, Jake Arrieta and Bumgarner want to be a part of the T-Mobile Home Run Derby, can we invite Ohtani, too? And, since he's hitting .337/.427/.673 (with a 1.100 OPS!) this season, can we just invite him to stay forever?
h/t: Baseball America