Brewers describe Shohei Ohtani’s fastball as firm but flat
Shohei Ohtani made his highly anticipated spring training debut for the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday, and his reception was mixed.
Ohtani went 1.1 innings, allowed two hits, two runs, a walk and struck out two. He allowed a home run to Milwaukee’s Keon Broxton.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Haudricourt says Brewers hitters described Ohtani’s fastball as firm but flat after facing him.
#Brewers hitters said Ohtani's fastball was firm but flat. Villar said his double was on a straight fastball and Broxton said same about HR.
— Tom (@Haudricourt) February 24, 2018
That sounds like Ohtani had some good velocity but not a ton of movement on his fastball. Both the home run and double he allowed came on fastballs.
According to Angels reporter Jeff Fletcher, Ohtani topped out at 97 mph on his fastball. The Japanese pitcher is said to be able to reach the triple-digits on his fastball, so hitting 97 in his spring debut is not bad. And maybe as the spring continues, he’ll show off more movement on his pitches too so they don’t appear as flat to hitters.