The Major League Baseball regular season is less than two weeks away, but you can make the argument that Shohei Ohtani is in regular season form already. In the quarterfinals of the 2023 World Baseball Classic on Thursday, Ohtani threw a 102 mile per hour fastball, which was the fastest pitch this multi-positional Japanese phenom has ever thrown in his career.
102-Mile Per Hour Pitch
The 102-mile per hour pitch that Ohtani threw on Thursday struck out Italian first baseman Vinnie Pasquantino on a 1-2 pitch in the second inning in a 9-3 Japan win over Italy at the Tokyo Dome. Pasquantino is a major leaguer as he played the 2022 Major League Baseball regular season with the Kansas City Royals. Ohtani’s pitch was 0.6 miles per hour faster than the 101.4 mile per hour pitch he threw on September 10 in a 6-1 Angels win over the Houston Astros. The 101.4 mile per hour pitch struck out Astros right fielder Kyle Tucker.
2023 WBC Statistics
Ohtani has had a fantastic World Baseball Classic to date, and his success had added to his iconic status on a global scale. He has a record of two wins and zero losses with an earned run average of 2.08. On the mound, Ohtani has pitched 8 2/3 innings and only given up two earned runs, five hits, and one walk, to go along with 10 strikeouts and a great WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) of 0.69.
Offensively, Ohtani has been amazing too. He is hitting .438 with seven hits in 16 at bats in a designated hitter role. During five games, Ohtani has scored seven runs, and had three doubles, one home run, eight runs batted in, eight walks and one stolen base. Ohtani’s WBC dinger was 448 feet and came in Japan’s 7-1 win over Australia on March 12.
Japan and Cuba are the two teams so far that advanced to the semifinals. Mexico is playing Puerto Rico in Miami in one quarterfinal on Friday, while the United States will play Venezuela in the final quarterfinal on Saturday.