After a very forgetful season at the plate in 2020, Shohei Ohtani is hoping to turn things around and perform the way he did in 2018 and in 2019.
Last seasom, Ohtani had career-lows all across the board. He hit below .200 and his OPS was only .657. This is after hitting .286 with an OPS of .883 through his first two big-league seasons. Well, he got his 2021 campaign off to a great start on Monday afternoon, as he finished the game with two hits.
“I’m glad I got this first game out of the way,” Ohtani said to reporters following the game. “On the hitting side, everything is going as planned so far.”
When asked what his offseason plans were for when he stepped up to the plate, he said he was focused on two things. He said the most important thing was how he was seeing the pitches at the plate, making sure he had a better eye when he was up there. The second was how he was swinging the bat and what kind of contact he’s making. He said that there were some little tweaks he had to make to his swing, but for the most part things have been going well so far.
Angels manager Joe Maddon said he really has liked what he’s seen in camp so far.
“[He has] real good balance,” Maddon said after the game. “Working good at bats. The hitting coaches are very happy and so is Shohei. I know it can continue. It looks better than it did at any point last year.”
Though it’s only one game, and there isn’t a reason to hype it up too much, it definitely is encouraging seeing Ohtani succeed right out of the gate. Hopefully this two-hit performance enhances his confidence level, and he can build a great spring campaign that can carry over into the regular season.