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Monday, April 2, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: SHOHEI OHTANI SP LOS ANGELES ANGELS

Not bad.  Not bad at all.  That would be the knee-jerk reaction to witnessing the pitching debut of Los Angeles Angels pitcher/slugger Shohei Ohtani on Sunday versus the Oakland A's and it was certainly a must-see even given how massively hyped he was coming out of Japan given the extremely rare ability to fire off 98-mph heaters and also slug a baseball 425 feet.  It was the pitching side of things though that Ohtani figured to have the most fantasy baseball value for 2018 but there certainly were some concerns leading into Sunday after a spring training where the results were quite ugly.  8 earned runs and 9 hits in just 2.2 IP this spring did not engender much immediate positivity when it came to Ohtani's immediate fantasy baseball outlook but like with any player (hitter or pitcher), they all deserve the benefit of the doubt until the lights come on.  It was there where Ohtani threw pretty darn well Sunday as he pitched 6 innings of 3-run ball that included just 3 hits given up and a walk.  One of the hits was a three-run jack by Matt Chapman and so you can make the case that literally one bad pitch hurt Ohtani's bottom line.  What really stood out was Ohtani hitting 99 on the radar gun right from the get-go and his six strikeouts show the big potential on that front.  All in all, it was a very encouraging outing for Ohtani and it should give all of his fantasy baseball owners reason to put him out there his next scheduled start this week.  While there will be some trouble with the long-ball, Ohtani very much has the knee-bending stuff to be a SP 2 this season.


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