Motion Analysis Expert Delivers In-Depth Analysis of Shohei Ohtani’s Evolution and Mastery of the 2024 Model Shin Batting Form | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Motion Analysis Expert Delivers In-Depth Analysis of Shohei Ohtani’s Evolution and Mastery of the 2024 Model Shin Batting Form

Major leap forward with minor changes in grip height, width of both feet, etc. As a clutch hitter with a shot at the Triple Crown, his batting average and runs batted in are both up significantly!

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Batting average over .500 in open games (as of March 11) and in great shape again this season

Los Angeles Dodgers’ Shohei Ohtani (29) is in excellent batting form this season.

In the preseason game against the Diamondbacks on March 11, he delivered a timely double in his fourth at-bat, contributing with 1 hit and 1 RBI in 3 at-bats. As of that day, his batting average in the preseason games significantly exceeds .500.

Comparing his batting form from last season to this season (in the series of photos below), it’s evident that he has undergone significant evolution and refinement while making minor adjustments. Taku Kawamura, an expert in motion analysis and associate professor at Tsukuba University, thoroughly explains the changes (comments below are from Kawamura).

“Last season, to put it bluntly, his batting style was a downward vertical swing. It was a form aimed at scooping up low pitches, with a focus on hitting home runs. However, he struggled with high pitches and showed some roughness. Perhaps the team situation, with the Angels lacking power hitters, also had an influence. This season, his bat movement is slightly more horizontal. In a Dodgers lineup filled with power hitters, it appears he’s focused on hitting safely to drive in runners. Ohtani seems to have few weaknesses and is growing into a clutch hitter who excels in crucial situations.”


(1) Lower grip position and wider stance compared to last season
(2) He rotates his hips like a topknot to apply more force to the ball.
(3) The pentagonal shape of his shoulders, elbows, and grip is a characteristic of Otani’s. (4) He has an ideal form in which he keeps his weight firmly on his center foot.
(4) Ideal form in which the weight remains firmly on the axis foot.
(5) Large follow-through. Factor that makes batted balls fly farther.

Let’s take a closer look at this season’s photos.

“Compared to last season when he swung the bat from a high position, his grip is now slightly lower. The width between his feet has also increased. This starting position is suitable for a horizontal swing, emphasizing strong contact.”

The secret to producing powerful hits lies in the timing of the next move.

“It’s likely due to the strength of his lower body. Both last season and this season, he rotates his hips like a pivot, exerting strong force on the ball. Since his head position remains almost unchanged and his body’s axis remains stable, his form stays consistent.”

At the moment of impact, Ohtani’s uniqueness as a two-way player continues to shine.

“A pentagon is formed by his shoulders, elbows, and grip. Normally, the arms would fully extend, but Ohtani maintains this ‘pentagon’ from the start and efficiently impacts the ball. This movement requires strong shoulder blades and chest, likely due to his regular training as a pitcher. It’s a swing that other batters can’t imitate.”

Even in the latter half of the swing, significant improvements are evident.

“After impact, you can see that he controls the opening of his right shoulder, smoothly swings the bat, and maintains weight on his back foot. His follow-through has become even larger. This contributes to hitting the ball far without needing to swing the bat dynamically.”

Heading into the season with the 2024 model Shin batting form, Ohtani seems poised to deliver another extraordinary performance.

“With his newfound reliability and strong hitting in clutch situations, his batting average and RBIs are likely to increase significantly. He could hit around .350 with 140 RBIs, and his home run count should be similar to last year’s. There’s a good chance he could win the Triple Crown.”

Joining the Dodgers, who have won their division nine times in the last ten years, and focusing solely on batting this season, Ohtani’s growth shows no signs of stopping.

The grip position is high, and the player aims for long hits.
(2) The head position and the axis of the body are not blurred, so the form is stable.
(3) Unique swing due to the training of his chest and shoulders in the two-fisted swinging style
(4) He uses the power of his entire body to hit the ball by holding his right shoulder open.
(5) Rational movements naturally result in powerful hits.

From the March 29, 2024 issue of FRIDAY

  • PHOTO. Yushi Taguchi AP/Afro

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