‘48.9% dependent’ Ohtani Sweeper is not a panacea… KO’ing a 10% hitter

The sweeper who became a major league player. The moment Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels) struck out Mike Trout, the last batter in the WBC finals in March, and confirmed Japan’s victory, the ball became more famous because it was a sweeper. In fact, it has been a trend in the major leagues for several years.

Ohtani’s love for sweepers this year is great. According to Baseball Savant, it is a whopping 48.9%. It means that almost every two balls thrown, one was a sweeper. If you look at Ohtani’s pitching, the trajectory of the sweeper is also varied. Some of them move greatly from side to side, while others move greatly up and down as if reminiscent of a curve.

Sweepers are followed by four-seams (26.5%), cutters (9.7%), splitters (6.0%), sinkers (5.2%), curves (3.6%), and sliders (0.2%) in that order. His four-seam average speed this year is 97.3 mph, while his average sweeper speed is 83.4 mph. In other words, Ohtani uses his movement and restraint throughout this season to steal the timing of hitters and lead them to beating.

Moreover, Ohtani Sweeper’s pitch value this season is -8, -2.5 points when converted to 100 points (RV/100). It is said that if you use the sweeper, you will receive 2.5 points less than if you do not throw it, so it is natural for Ohtani to throw a lot of sweepers. For reference, the four-seam RV/100 is -2.0. The data suggests that sweepers score less than those powerful four-seams.

But data is nothing more and nothing less than data. Baseball is a living thing, and no one can be 100% sure of the outcome of the confrontation between the pitcher and the batter in front of them. Ohtani became the first losing pitcher of the season with 6 hits (1 home run), 7 strikeouts, 2 walks and 3 runs in 7 innings in a home game against the Houston Astros in the 2023 major league held at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, USA on the 10th (hereinafter Korean time).

In particular, in the top of the 5th inning with a 1-0 lead, the sweeper, who used a full count to Martin Maldonado, with 1 out and 2nd base, went into the middle and was hit by a two-run four in the reverse final. Just as a monkey sometimes falls from a tree, a perfect Ohtani is also a person. He threw with the thought of a big hit or a strikeout, but it was an obvious mistake. 메이저사이트

Even the speed was 85.8 miles (138.1 km), so as a hitter who had to prepare for Ohtani’s mid-to-late 150km four-seam and sinker, he was able to turn the bat properly by slightly delaying the timing. What is more surprising is that Maldonado’s batting average for the season until this day is only 0.175. He hit 98 career home runs, but this one was his second home run of the season.

This is why the phrase ‘I don’t know baseball’ seems to be used in the major leagues. Ohtani was frustrated with that one shot, and Maldonado and the Houston bench were in a frenzy.

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