Shohei Ohtani in Full Production Mode with 100 Miles (161 km/h) Hitting Achievable with Pentagon of Impact | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Shohei Ohtani in Full Production Mode with 100 Miles (161 km/h) Hitting Achievable with Pentagon of Impact

The "range of motion of the upper body" and the "difference in twisting" will help him become the HR king of both leagues.

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Lower body rotating to move the ball, while the upper body stays back and the arms form a pentagon. An ideal batting form.

Finally, the monster’s bat has caught fire.

On June 17 (Japan time), Shohei Ohtani (29) of the Dodgers hit two consecutive home runs of the season (No. 18 and 19) in the Royals game, and on the 19th against the Rockies, he hit the season’s longest massive shot of about 145 meters (No. 20).

Is it finally in mass production? Behind Ohtani’s impressive batting form that excites fans worldwide, what secrets might be hidden?

“Could it be that humanity cannot evolve any further? Watching Shohei Ohtani’s batting this year, one might even feel that way.”

These words come from Masafumi Fujii, coach of theKanoya University of Health and Sport Sciences and a sports science researcher who analyzes athletes’ movements.

“This season, it’s no exaggeration to say that Ohtani’s form is ideal. Without changing the position of his head, he performs linear motion (shifting his weight towards the pitcher) while keeping his upper body back. This creates rotational disparity (difference in rotation between the upper and lower body) during the swing, allowing him to accurately capture the ball without thrusting his body forward, yet accelerating the swing. It’s easy to say in words, but creating such a rotational disparity is extremely difficult.
In Ohtani’s case, the range of motion in his upper limbs (from shoulder joint to fingertips) is exceptionally wide compared to other players, resulting in rotational disparity that is also top-class in the majors.”

As represented by Tigers’ Kenta Maeda (36) and his “Maeken Exercises,” pitchers often excel in upper limb flexibility. It’s likely that pitcher Shohei Ohtani’s cultivated shoulder flexibility has contributed to his exceptional rotational disparity as a batter. And yet, Ohtani’s prowess this season isn’t limited to just this.

“He’s become strong against fastballs. In the June 6th Pirates game, he sent a 100-mile-per-hour fastball from rookie right-hander Paul Skeens (22) to the back screen. It’s the first time in his seven years in the majors that Ohtani has hit a home run off a fastball exceeding 100 miles per hour,” noted a local reporter.

According to Fujii, Ohtani’s impact form is what enables him to achieve this “100-mile hitting.”

“The faster the pitcher’s ball, the more the batter’s bat gets pushed back upon impact. However, Shohei Ohtani always maintains both arms in a pentagon shape during impact, with his left elbow tucked in front of his abdomen. This is the most resistant form against force.
Those who play golf might have been taught to think of a triangle during the swing. Certainly, a triangle is effective for increasing swing speed, but in baseball where the ball approaches at 100 miles per hour, you can’t absorb that energy. By capturing the ball without losing strength, accelerating the swing with rotational disparity created by an exceptionally wide range of motion in the upper limbs, Ohtani can send fastballs, slow-breaking balls, inside pitches, and outside pitches into the stands.”

In the team, despite MVP trio member Mookie Betts (31) and right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto (25) being placed on the injured list, Ohtani has admirably taken on the role of top batter. Towards the feat of leading both leagues in home runs—this young warrior with newfound weapons shows no signs of slowing down.

In the game against the Rockies on the 18th, Shohei Ohtani, filling in for Betts at the leadoff spot, achieved three hits and one stolen base, lifting the team’s heavy atmosphere.

From the July 5-12, 2024 issue of FRIDAY


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