Dave Roberts Praises Shohei Ohtani's Strike Zone Control

Ohtani showcases exceptional power in recent MLB games.

by Nouman Rasool
Dave Roberts Praises Shohei Ohtani's Strike Zone Control
© Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Shohei Ohtani, the Los Angeles Dodgers' two-way sensation, has once again captured the spotlight with his remarkable batting performance. Amidst fading controversies, Ohtani's recent exploits at the plate are a testament to his refined skills and focus, as he continues to set new benchmarks in Major League Baseball.

In a recent game against the Toronto Blue Jays, which the Dodgers clinched 4-2, Ohtani demonstrated his exceptional power. The highlight came when he faced Blue Jays' pitcher Yusei Kikuchi. With a count of 2-2, Ohtani connected with a four-seam fastball, launching it at a blistering 119.2 mph off the bat.

This strike not only marked the hardest-hit ball of his career but also set the record for the highest exit velocity achieved this season. The last time a ball was hit harder was back in 2015, making Ohtani’s feat a significant highlight in the MLB records.

Dave Roberts, the Dodgers' manager, expressed his admiration for Ohtani’s performance. "It's incredibly amazing," Roberts remarked. "The ball comes off hot, but for me, what's really impressive is how he’s controlling the strike zone.

You earn pitches in the strike zone, and in that at-bat, he took some low balls, got a pitch in his nitro zone, and hit it hard."

Ohtani's Record-Breaking Hits

Ohtani's prowess isn’t a one-off occurrence. He has achieved three hits in his career with an exit velocity surpassing 119 mph, trailing only behind sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton since the onset of the Statcast era.

Additionally, Ohtani's presence at the plate has a silencing effect on his critics, as demonstrated during the Dodgers' recent visit to Rogers Centre. Greeted with boos from the Toronto crowd—who harbored resentment over his decision to sign with the Dodgers instead of the Blue Jays—Ohtani responded emphatically with a first-at-bat home run, his seventh of the season.

This act not only showcased his composure but also his ability to thrive under pressure. Reflecting on the crowd's reaction, Ohtani remained diplomatic and focused. "Aside from how the fans may or may not think, I'm just very grateful for the teams that approached me and wanted to sign me," he said post-game.

"Ultimately, I could only choose one team." This incident and his ongoing performance highlight Ohtani's strategic approach to the game and his critical role in the Dodgers' lineup. As the season progresses, his continued excellence at the plate is not just a display of raw power but a clear indication of his tactical acumen and maturity as a player.

Shohei Ohtani