With regard to Padres rumors, Japanese baseball superstar Shohei “Babe Ruth” Ohtani has said “NO” to twenty-three teams. This does not include the San Diego Padres.
Also, he seems to have a strong inclination to playing for a non big-market team (in terms of stars, world series wins, media). The Padres could be the most preferred destination for Ohtani.
- Shohei has expressed his intent to play for a team that would give him an opportunity to pitch, hit and play outfield. The Padres have the flexibility on their roster to support this. Their outfield is still not settled (Hunter Renfroe, Matt Szczur, Travis Jankowski) and healthy competition would be good.
- The Friars don’t have a Madison Bumgarner, Clayton Kershaw or Jake Arrieta. They don’t have a pitching superstar and that spot could be Ohtani’s. His performances will never go unnoticed.
- Should Shohei choose the Padres, he would be the first Japanese starting pitcher to play for the Padres. Akinori Otsuka (relief pitcher) was the first player to represent the Padres in 2007.
- San Diego with its beaches, beautiful weather could be a perfect home ground for Ohtani to settle down, also a trip to Japan from San Diego is a tad under twelve hours, this would give Ohtani and his family the flexibility to travel back and forth with ease.
The Oshu born, twenty-three year old has officially recorded the fastest pitch by a Japanese pitcher at 102.5 mph. Aroldis Chapman holds the fastest recorded pitch in MLB history at 105.1 mph. Per scouts, Ohtani has above average control but not command. His slider and splitter are graded at 70 on the 20-80 scale.
He has a 42 – 15 record as a starting pitcher with an ERA of 2.52 pitching for the Nippon Ham for five seasons in the Japanese baseball league. He strikes out people at will and possesses an impressive SO9 of 10.3, BB9 of 3.3 is also above average. Justin Verlander has an SO9 of 8.5 and BB9 of 2.7.
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Per Baseball Reference, Ohtani’s batting stats are solid. In 1035 AB’s, he is hitting .286 and has an OPS of .859.
For Shohei, looking to create his own legacy, playing in America’s finest city with the up and coming Padres would be the perfect breeding ground and recipe for success.
He has until December 22nd to make a decision but the thought of MacKenzie Gore and Ohtani playing together as starting pitchers for the Padre fans is enticing.
In addition to these Padres rumors, San Diego will be competing for the World Series in 2020-2021 and Ohtani could be the master stroke!