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Upton on MLB Radio re: Ohtani


floplag

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4 minutes ago, Second Base said:

His arm would need to recover from surgery first.  And seeing what he's done on the mound, I wouldn't want to do anything jeopardize that part of his game.  

of course, im assuming this is post recovery. 
2 way players seem to be all the rage these days :)  

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Flop, Ohtani's value is greater as a pitcher/DH than outfielder. In his Japanese career he only played the outfield a handful of times, he really has no history to bank on for playing the field. Coupled with recovering from Tommy John surgery, Ohtani's time in the outfield is only going to be running sprints this season.

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Ohtani's two-way talent makes him both very exciting and difficult to plan for (from a front office perspective) and project (from a fanalyst perspective). Why? Because he has elite talent both ways: he could be a true frontline pitcher AND an elite bat.

What compounds this even more is that if we have project higher upside, it would probably be as a pitcher. But he's more likely to actualize his upside as a hitter - so again we're balanced out.

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56 minutes ago, AngelsLakersFan said:

I do think in the long term he is going to have to learn to play a real position, be it 1B or outfield. 

I always saw him as a potential 1B if he had to play a position.  Long, lanky, with good reflexes.  And, 1B isn’t taxing on the arm except for throwing the ball to Simmons after a groundout.....

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There was a famous baseball player back in the 20s that was a very good pitcher. But the problem was, he HIT so well, that his team realized that he needed to be in the everyday lineup.

This could certainly happen to Ohtani. Even missing three days/week might be foolish if his bat says so.

I guess we will find out this year.

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When he first signed, I thought Shohei would eventually give up hitting to be a full time SP and maybe occasional pinch hitter.

Now? I wonder if his ultimate one way role won’t be at the plate. I could see him shifting to corner outfield or 1B in five years or so.

Regardless, he won’t be playing the field this season under any circumstances. 

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obviously, the following numbers could change with progression/improvement but consider: 

Ohatni produced 1.2 bWAR and 1.0 fWAR as a pitcher in 10 starts for an avg of 0.11 WAR per start.  

He produced 2.7 bWAR and 2.8 fWAR as a hitter in 367 pa.  At an avg of 4.14 pa per start from the #3 spot in the lineup as a league base, it means that he got about 89 games worth of at bats.  Therefore producing .03 WAR per game as a hitter.  

Therefore, as a pitcher he would produce 3.3 WAR in 30 starts 

As a hitter, he would produce 4.5 WAR if he hit in 150 games

He averaged 1 start per week which I could see happening going forward.  Which mean over the course of a season he could make up to 28 starts.  Let's call it 25 starts.  

So that would be 2.8 WAR as a pitcher over a full season.  

If they continue the same schedule where they give him the day off before and after his starts, that would amount to him missing about 75 games. But if they plan it right with off days etc. it could be 70 or maybe even fewer.  Call it 70.  So let's say he hits in 90 games plus pinch hit appearances in those games on either side of his starts minus a few inter league games in NL parks and that puts him at around 100 games as a hitter.  

100 games at 0.03 per game is 3.0 WAR.  

So as a two way player with similar stats, he's worth 5.8 WAR 

He is worth more as a two way player than he is only doing one or the other unless doing both inhibits him from excelling in either on an individual basis.  That may be slightly true but probably not enough to justify forcing him to focus on just one.  

Think of it this way.  Take a slightly better version of David Price from last year (180ish ip, 3.58 era, 2.7 WAR) and give him 5 less starts but on his off days, he's a slightly better version of Giancarlo Stanton as a hitter in 50 less games for the year.  

 

 

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