Watch Shohei Ohtani strike out 17 during a middle school game
Major League GMs are salivating at the thought of signing 23-year-old Shohei Ohtani to be both their ace and slugger this offseason. But Ohtani didn't emerge out of nowhere -- he's been decimating batters his entire life. While most kids were struggling with pimples and soul-crushing social awkwardness in middle school, Ohtani took the mound and struck out 17 of 18 batters he faced.
Just check out these mechanics:
Shohei Ohtani as a middle schooler: pic.twitter.com/7stQtBPFno- Sung Min Kim (@sung_minkim) November 25, 2017
Compare that to how he looks today. There are obviously a few differences in his motion, but you can see the spark that has become the supernova:
Though there is not full footage from Ohtani's middle-school game, you can watch the Japanese documentary that features the scorecard. Even if you don't speak Japanese, there are some great highlights and cartoons in the video. And that's a language we can all speak. Check it out below: