When the Los Angeles Angels signed Japanese pitcher/hitter/all-around phenom Shohei Ohtani last December, the hype was palpable. Somehow, Ohtani has already exceeded those expectations. He’s 2-0 as a starter with a 2.08 ERA, including taking a perfect game into the 6th inning in his most recent start. He’s hitting .346 with three home runs and 11 RBIs in seven games. And on top of all that, the dude is really, really fast.
When Ohtani belted a triple in the bottom of the 7th inning last night, clearing the loaded bases, he went from home plate to third base in exactly 11.49 seconds, according to StatCast. That is the fastest time ever recorded for a pitcher chugging it from home to third.
Now, in fairness, Ohtani is probably not facing the stiffest of competition for that record. But how about this for context. In 2016, Billy Hamilton, widely considered one of the fastest players in the MLB, scampered from home to third in 10.45 seconds. Ohtani got there a second later. Surreal.
We’ll see how teams adjust to Ohtani as the season moves on, but at the moment, the man looks like a bonafide superstar.