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Shohei Ohtani 2022 Outlook


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On 9/6/2022 at 12:15 PM, to_be_quite_frank said:

Anyone have Ohtani in a daily league where he is one player?

If so.... tell me what it's like 🥰

I do, in my home league.  I'm stunned by people saying he went number 2 this year.  He is far and away the best player in this fomat. My league is also innings capped, making his k/9 even more valuable.  It's a ridiculous advantage.

I have a very particular set of skills as a manager that has allowed my to parlay this advantage into a 7th place finish.

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25 minutes ago, Backdoor Slider said:

A lot to unpack here, but I guess my answer is I don’t think we’ll see many more Ohtani’s, which really points to what an unbelievably special athlete he is.

1) Likely many of these guys were SS/SP on their travel/HS teams. Because they were far and away the best athletes on their teams. But I don’t think there’s something cultural about pushing players down one path. To sharpen their elite skillset, they focus in on one (and often prove as they rise through the ranks, they can no longer compete at one).

2) Bumgarner “swings the stick pretty well” for a pitcher, we agree. .172/.232/.524 and 19 HRs in 14 years (I know, 1.5-2 seasons of PAs). And yeah, probably doesn’t practice a ton, but I’m not sure how effective he could be. 

3) I thought of Brendan McKay as I read this. Tons of injuries unfortunately, but he still had a ton to prove as both a hitter and pitcher. And here’s the thing; think of the bust rate of prospects as they rise through the minors. So even if a player is drafted as both (may happen a bit more as people try to emulate Ohtani), said player will need to prove himself at each and every level, and I think the likelihood of “busting” at one of the two skills is probably tremendously high.

Maybe we’re on the same page here. We may see it even more in college than in the past. But do I think we’ll see another who becomes an everyday SP & DH in MLB?  Unlikely. But on the small chance we do, I don’t think we ever see someone who does both and is literally 50%+ better than the average MLB player at both (150 OPS+/165 ERA+).

People throw out the term “generational talent” way too much. Like 1-2 guys each rookie class lol. But Ohtani is truly a generational player.

Good points.  To elaborate a bit on point 2, baseball is a high stakes business to these guys.  Getting to the majors is hard and first round picks bust often, even 1/1s can never make it or just barely do so for a while.

It's also kind of binary.  A so-so 10 year MLB player will live in luxury, have about any woman he wants and make generational wealth.  True, bonus babies get some of that no matter what.  But a minor leaguer eats crap food, shares a room in a crappy hotel and will be lucky to wind up a PE teacher after his playing days.

In almost every respect, Ohtani's life isn't much different from Brandon Belt's.  But quite different from AJ Reed's.

So as a player, you really need to optimize your chances of just getting there and you do that by specializing.

Ohtani is wired differently.  Obsessed with the game and not too worried about money.  But also, he came up in Japan.  Unlike an American, Dominican, etc. player he was a near lock to be a successful pro with good money and social status and he could foster his talents in a bubble where the competition was less fierce.  

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Atlanta selected RHP Owen Murphy this year in the first round and initially announced him as a two-way player, giving me hope it would be a harbinger of things to come. They retracted that designation within an hour IIRC, pretty much dashing any thought of it on the rocks. It is unlikely we'll see another Ohtani in the near or even distant future, but at least there is a precedent to prove it can be done. 

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How bad is the WAR calculation you say? Well his WAR actually went down after yesterday's performance. A win, rbi, 2 ER and 7 strikeouts. 

On a separate note it was an absolutely ludicrous decision to not delay the start of the game, it was absolutely dumping rain for the first hour+ of the game. 

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On 9/23/2022 at 6:41 AM, ipstaff said:

His success really raises the question... why can't others?  Is the idea that pitchers can't also be hitters really that far fetched?  

I think there's an argument to be made for allowing those pitchers that show a knack for the skill, like Bumgarner, at least a chance to be two-way players a la Ohtani. But the very reason the DH exists is due to a century of data showing that pitchers typically hit at a level somewhere between high-school and A-ball. I think you'd have a better chance of forcing the best hitters to be two-way players (in the form of relief pitchers at least) than pitchers. That's already a proven failure.

Personally, I think the dichotomy exists for a reason. We might see more attempts by players to be the next Ohtani, but they're unlikely to experience his level of two-way success. He's amazing.

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