Major League Baseball, Angels' Ohtani doesn't stop. He has hit a two-run homer in the last seven games, including a two-run homer in the 18th, and is the sole leader in both leagues. What is the reason for the strong performance?

In the second half of the article, we analyze all of Otani's home runs this season in detail, including the type of ball.

【Details of the match on the 18th】Shohei Ohtani 2th in 24 consecutive games is a comeback two-run

June: Batting is strong

Ohtani continues to be batting well.

Summarizing his record in the seven games played during the week from June 6 to 12, he went 18-for-1 with a batting average of 7.23.10. He has an overwhelming record with 4 home runs and 3 RBI.

His 150th home run of the season was his 23rd home run of the season.

Focusing on home runs, we reached a milestone on the 17th.

He hit his 150th home run in the major leagues, surpassing Hideki Matsui, who played for the Yankees and others, and becoming the fastest Japan player.

【Click here for details】Shohei Otani, Japan's fastest total of 150

Hideki Matsui MLB No. 150 (June 2010)

Mr. Matsui also praised him, saying, "No matter what Otani does, no one is surprised, and I think his presence is something that has become commonplace."

If you look at Ohtani's home runs this season month by month, you can see that he has picked up the pace in June.

By the end of the 18th, the number had already exceeded both April and May.

April... 4 ▽
May ... 5 ▽
June... Ohtani said the following about his good performance in nine runs (as of

the 4th).

(Shohei Otani) "I can see well,
so I was at the stage of preparation. Of course, the results are good. I think it's good to feel like it's doing as much as possible."

Experts "Capture the High Fastball"

How do experts interpret the factors behind Ohtani's strong performance?

NHK Professional Baseball Commentator Takehiko Kobayakawa

"I've become able to bounce back high straights powerfully," points out NHK professional baseball commentator Takehiko Kobayakawa.

The sign of this was the No. 5 home run on May 30.

It was a powerful blow with a flight distance of 151.6 meters and a hitting speed of 132.6 kilometers after hitting a high straight of 177.3 km.

No. 13 Home Run (May 5)

(NHK Professional Baseball Commentator, Takehiko Kobayakawa)
"In early spring, I was struggling with high straights, and I either hit the bat and got a foul, or even if I tried to hit it, it was an empty swing. He caught it brilliantly in No. 13 and it was a great distance and a hit ball, so it gave him the home run he had been waiting for. It was a shot that made me feel like the pace was really picking up."

If you compare it to No. 12...

No. 3 home run for the third consecutive year (June 20)

(Takehiko Kobayakawa) "Until then,
home runs were often based on catching a change ball that came low, and in baseball batting, it was more like a golf swing scooped up from the bottom, and more often it was like carrying the ball on a bat. After No. 13, HRs started to smash fast balls."

【Shohei Otani's home run course this season? What are the sphere types? 】

< April >
▽ 4nd: No. 2 Low slider
▽ 1rd: No. 3 Low changeup
▽ 2th: No. 9 slider ▽ 3th: No. 18 low slider

▽ 4rd: No. 23 low curve
▽ 5th: 26th low sinker
▽ 6th: No. 30 Cut ball

< May >
▽ 7th: No. 5 Low curve ▽ 10th: No. 8 curve
▽ 15th: No. 9 High / changeup

▽ 18th: No. 10 High / straight
▽ 20th: No. 11 High / Cut Ball ▽ 24 days: 12 High / Straight ▽ 30 days: 13 Straight ▽ 31 days : 14 : High / Straight

< June >
▽ 31 days: 15 High / Cut Ball

▽ 6th: No. 6 Changeup
▽ 16th: No. 9 Low slider
▽ 17th: No. 10 Low sinker
▽ 18th: No. 12 High cut ball
▽ 19th: No. 12 Straight
▽ 20th: No. 14 High slider
▽21th: No. 15 High changeup
▽22th: No. 17 Low curve

(from MLB official website)

No. 21 Home Run (June 6)

On top of that, Kobayakawa points out that Otani's batting has evolved further compared to last year.

(Takehiko Kobayakawa)
"After the axis of the body becomes even larger than last year, you turn your body around it. The trunk has become stronger, so the shaft is firm. I think the axis will not shake, so if there are fewer missed shots, it will be connected."

Expected to be MVP of the Week

With his strong performance in the week from June 6 to 12, it will be interesting to see if he can win the MVP of the week award.

Ohtani has won the award four times, two times each in 2018, but he has the most home runs and RBIs compared to the past awards.

If he wins the award this time, it will be the fifth time in total, and he will equal Ichiro's record for the most Japan athletes.

Future activities and expectations

In addition, Ohtani topped the American League overall with more than 92,<> votes in the designated hitter category in the interim results of the All-Star Game fan voting.

If they continue to receive the highest votes in the entire American League, they will be selected as starters for the third consecutive All-Star Game for the third year in a row, without waiting for the final vote.

Beyond that, Kobayakawa has high hopes for winning the title this season.

NHK Professional Baseball Commentator Takehiko Kobayakawa

(Takehiko Kobayakawa)
"Last year, Murakami (of Yakult) hit 56 home runs in professional baseball in Japan, so I think he has a good chance to win the title with 1 home runs and 57 home runs, as well as the title in batting average and RBI.