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Podcast: Just how good is Ohtani?

Prospect will rank as both a top-five pitcher and outfielder
MLB.com

The following is an excerpt from this week's Pipeline Podcast, in which Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo discuss Shohei Ohtani's unique skillset and the potential of future two-way stars. To listen to the show in its entirety, go to the MLB Pipeline Podcast page.

Tim McMaster: "Let's talk about Ohtani from a prospect standpoint. Jim, you wrote up the actual, or you've looked into the actual skillset. I know you both have, but the actual writeup for it, Jim. Just break it down in simple terms for us how good this guy is at a prospect level."

The following is an excerpt from this week's Pipeline Podcast, in which Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo discuss Shohei Ohtani's unique skillset and the potential of future two-way stars. To listen to the show in its entirety, go to the MLB Pipeline Podcast page.

Tim McMaster: "Let's talk about Ohtani from a prospect standpoint. Jim, you wrote up the actual, or you've looked into the actual skillset. I know you both have, but the actual writeup for it, Jim. Just break it down in simple terms for us how good this guy is at a prospect level."

:: Shohei Ohtani coverage ::

Jim Callis: "I think in a word, the word might be ridiculous, might be the best way to describe how Ohtani is. Just from a tools breakdown on the 20-80 scouting scale. And I ran these by some guys who have scouted him very carefully, and I was told 'You might be light on him.' But with that said, we go 80 fastball, which is top of the scale, 65 slider, 65 splitter, that's well above average, 50 curve ball, 50 changeup. It's pretty nice when you have a fourth or fifth pitch and they're Major League average, and 50 control. So overall we gave him a 70, which would be a No. 1 starter as a pitcher. And, oh by the way, it's 65 power, and that's usable power, not raw power, it's probably 80 raw power, 65 speed, 80 arm, 50 hit, 50 field, although he'll probably be more of a DH because they'll try to rest his arm. As a hitter, which is a 60, and you can probably even argue that could be higher than a 60. Jonathan and I, we talked about it, because we're going to actually, I think, he'll be the first player ever to be listed on two different position lists on MLB Pipeline. When we talked about Ohtani, he's going to be the No. 1 pitching prospect in the game, and I think we settled on he'd be the No. 4 outfield prospect in the game. And it's the back-to-back package, both in the same player. It is ridiculous."

McMaster: So Jonathan, I guess that means he's going to be the No.1 overall, right? Is that fair to assume once he is on a list?

Mayo: "Yeah, I think that's a fairly safe assumption."

Callis: "Wait, John, what if Ronald Acuna comes out throwing 95? And then what do we do? They decide to make him a two-way player, then what do we do? 

Mayo: "Well I think if we can add in Estevan Florial's cooking skills, then maybe there'd be an argument to move him up to the No.1 spot. But no, just because of the ridiculous nature of who he is and how good he is on both sides, I think he has to be the No. 1 prospect. I mean, we have not seen anything like this ever. So that alone is worthy of that top spot."