2023 Outlook: Shohei Ohtani

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What can we expect from the two-way star in 2023?

Hitting Projections

In 2022, Ohtani posted 34 home runs, 95 R.B.Is, 11 stolen bases, and a .273 batting average. Ohtani is projected to have 35 home runs, 96 R.B.Is, 16 stolen bases, and a .254 batting average via FanGraphs.

My Hitting Projections

I believe banning the shift will help Ohtani be a better hitter overall. Ohtani was shifted against 34% of his at-bats. Ohtani will have more hits with the new rule than in years past. He would also have more stolen bases as well. I predict 37 home runs, 98 RBIs, 16 stolen bases, and a .279 batting average.

Pitching Projections

Ohtani was dominating on the mound in 2022. You can say he was a better pitcher than a hitter last year. He posted a 15-9 record with a 2.33 E.R.A. plus 219 strikeouts. According to FanGraphs, he is projected to have a 12-9 record, 3.16 E.R.A, and about 11 strikeouts per 9 innings.

My Pitching Projections

I can see Ohtani getting 17 or 18 wins next season with him pitching every 6th day. I can see his E.R.A. be a little higher with the banned shift. Maybe something like a 2.50 but nothing like 3.16 E.R.A like FanGraphs said. I also think he can get 230 strikeouts this season with the uptick in innings and a contract year.

Final assessment

Ohtani is going into a contract year where he is projected to earn about 500 million dollars. Ohtani will always put up big numbers, and I believe this might be his best season yet.

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