2021 Dynasty Baseball Player of the Week: Shohei Ohtani

by Nick Zaniboni
2021 Dynasty Baseball Player of the Week: Shohei Ohtani

Welcome back to our 2021 Dynasty Baseball Player of the Week series as we look at the man, the myth, the legend, Shohei Ohtani. He is currently slotted 64th in our rankings and is the 22nd ranked pitcher in our positional dynasty rankings.

A couple of personal plugs before we dive in this week! First, I need everyone to follow us on Instagram @fantasysixpack. I am putting out reels of some DFS plays and would love to help our fanbase out!

Next, by the time you read this, the first iteration of the On-Deck Circle Podcast will be ready to listen to! So please subscribe and leave a review for the excellent podcast!

This coming weekend there is an event that comes hand-in-hand with the beginning of baseball season for me. That event is none other than Wrestlemania. I'm sure you're wondering what in the world does that has to do with baseball.

Annually my cousin and I take a trip (pre-pandemic) to wherever Wrestlemania is being held. These trips have brought us to Dallas, San Francisco, New York, and New Orleans. Other than wrestling, the journeys usually involve some touristy things and beer. However, no matter where we go, we try and catch a baseball game. We saw the Rangers at their old stadium (I also met Curt Schilling there before he went well, you know....), Giants at AT&T, Yankee Stadium, and the minor league affiliate to the Marlins, the New Orleans Baby Cakes.

2021 Dynasty Baseball Player of the Week: Shohei Ohtani

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"Mania" is defined as excessive or unreasonable enthusiasm. It is often attached to nouns as a suffix, creating a title that labels the sheer hype around someone or something. Examples of manias are Beatlemania, Hulkamania, and for the sake of this article Ohtani-mania.

Now whatcha gonna do when Ohtani is hitting dingers and throwing 101 past you, brother? Many baseball clubs asked themselves that in the offseason of 2017, headlines read of a Japanese version of Babe Ruth. There was a buzz when Ohtani signed. A pitcher who could flat-out rake? Many fans stateside, myself included, were skeptical that a player could really succeed doing both.

Most believed that Ohtani was most valuable as a pitcher, disregarding his skills at the plate. Well, Ohtani did a fine job at shutting any skeptics up. He was on his way towards a dominant season both on the bump and in the box until July when he was diagnosed with a torn UCL. This ultimately led to Tommy John. However, Ohtani was still able to hit in the 2018 season; he ended up winning the 2018 AL Rookie of the Year.

Unique Season

2019 was a unique offseason and season for Ohtani. He was preparing for a season as a DH while rehabbing as a pitcher. Ohtani had a late start to the season and started a month late at the beginning of May. He ended up with a decent season at the plate, slashing 286/.343/.505 with 18 homers and 62 RBIs in 106 games. Unfortunately, Ohtani got bit by the injury bug again.

This time, he suffered an injury in his left knee. This injury originated in the spring, but he played through it until it needed to be seriously addressed. The injury ended up limiting his throwing program and cost him some rehab time.

Let's talk about what went well for Ohtani this season. He was still averaging the 1t1h highest exit velocity in the league with 92.8 MPH. This mark was good for the top three percent of all batters. He showed his power to all fields throughout the year.

From Superstar to Jobber

A "jobber" is a professional wrestling term used to describe a wrestler who gets routinely defeated by main event-ers.

There are two frames of mind when it comes to the 2020 season. If you were good, the stats count. If you were terrible, the stats do not. By that theory, Ohtani did not play in 2020. However, in reality, he did play, and boy, was it bad.

He began the late starting season in the Angels' starting rotation. Ohtani faced six batters and failed to get a single one out. He allowed three walks, three singles, and five runs. He made his next start and could not get out of the second inning. After that start, he was immediately shut down with a strain of the flexor-pronator mass in his right elbow and didn't pitch all year again. He faced 16 batters, walked eight, struck out three, allowed three hits and seven runs, and recorded five outs. The era was mike trouts number (27) + 10.80= 38.80. An abysmal season on the mound.

Unfortunately for Ohtani and the Angels, his season was not saved by his performance at the plate. He just was off all season long with a stat line of .190/.291/.366, 84 wRC+, 7 HR. His average exit velocity that topped the year before dropped four mph and was now 89.1mph.

His Time is Now (Dynasty Outlook)

By now we all know what happened on Sunday Night Baseball. If you are reading this and do not know please watch this full video courtesy of @pitchingninja:

Must-watch television, an American League pitcher is batting second and hitting a bomb right after hitting 101 on the radar gun. Welcome back to Ohtani-mania; not even the MLB can ruin this. Fans are now reminded how good this kid is at pitching. Ohtani had an entire offseason to get dialed back in on the hill and in the batter's box. I can almost guarantee that Ohtani will be a top 10-15 dynasty asset next season.

Go get Ohtani, go overpay for Ohtani! I did not bother trying to get him this week because there is no way I would be able to. I hold zero Ohtani shares in my five leagues, and I am upset I did not even try to get him this offseason. As I stated earlier, and I hope you said it in your best Hulk Hogan Voice, "Now whatcha gonna do when Ohtani is hitting dingers and throwing 101 past you, brother?"

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1 comment

Panda M April 13, 2021 - 12:19 pm

When are we getting the next installment!?


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