What Are Shohei Ohtani’s Best Pitches? How Good Is Shohei at Pitching?

John Means

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Shohei Ohtani’s Best Pitches

Shohei Ohtani, the electrifying two-way star of Major League Baseball, has captivated fans and experts alike with his extraordinary pitching skills. 

Ohtani’s arsenal of pitches is a mesmerizing symphony of power and finesse, showcasing an array of offerings that befuddle opposing hitters. 

His four-seam fastball, known for its blazing speed and rising action, is a dominant force, while his splitter, with its late, sharp dive, is a devastating off-speed weapon. 

Ohtani’s slider and curveball add further dimensions to his repertoire, and his changeup keeps hitters off balance. 

With precise control and strategic sequencing, Ohtani’s pitching artistry is a marvel to behold, making him one of the most enthralling talents in the game.

What Are Shohei Ohtani’s Best Pitches?

Shohei Ohtani is one of the most exciting and versatile players in Major League Baseball, known for his exceptional skills as both a pitcher and a hitter. 

When it comes to his pitching, Ohtani possesses a repertoire of pitches that have made him a standout talent in the league.

Here, we’ll take a closer look at some of Shohei Ohtani’s best pitches:

Four-seam Fastball

Ohtani’s four-seam fastball is his primary weapon when it comes to overpowering hitters. This pitch often reaches triple-digit speeds and displays impressive rising action.

Its high velocity combined with Ohtani’s deceptive delivery makes it a nightmare for hitters to catch up to. 

He’s known for mixing locations effectively, keeping the fastball up in the zone for strikeouts or down to induce groundballs.


Ohtani’s splitter is his signature off-speed pitch. What makes it so effective is the late and sharp downward movement it exhibits. 

The pitch typically mirrors his fastball’s arm action, making it incredibly tough for hitters to recognize until it’s too late. 

The combination of his splitter and fastball creates a stark velocity difference that keeps hitters off balance.


Ohtani’s slider is a versatile pitch that complements his fastball and splitter. It features lateral movement, breaking away from right-handed hitters and down and in towards lefties. 

His ability to control the break and locate it precisely adds another layer of complexity to his pitching strategy.


While not his primary breaking pitch, Ohtani’s curveball is a useful addition to his repertoire. It’s slower and has a more pronounced downward break compared to his slider. 

The curveball, when thrown effectively, can deceive batters who are trying to time his faster pitches.


Ohtani’s changeup may not be his most dominant pitch, but it serves as a valuable off-speed option. It helps him disrupt the timing of hitters who are geared up for his high-velocity offerings. A well-executed changeup can induce weak contact or swings and misses.

Control and Command

Beyond the individual pitches, Ohtani’s control and command of his arsenal are impressive. He can consistently hit his spots, making him a formidable presence on the mound. 

His ability to locate pitches effectively on both sides of the plate and mix-up speeds keeps hitters guessing.

What Pitches Does Shohei Ohtani Throw?

What Pitches Does Shohei Ohtani Throw?

Shohei Ohtani is a two-way star who can both hit and pitch at an elite level. He throws seven different pitches, according to Baseball Savant.

Here is a breakdown of his pitch types and their usage in 2023:


This is a breaking ball that has a lot of horizontal movement and drops sharply. Ohtani uses this pitch as his primary strikeout weapon, especially against left-handed hitters. 

He threw it 35.2% of the time in 2023, with an average velocity of 80.6 mph and a spin rate of 2,583 rpm.

Four-seam fastball

This is a straight fastball that has high velocity and minimal movement. Ohtani uses this pitch to challenge hitters and set up his off-speed pitches. 

He threw it 32.8% of the time in 2023, with an average velocity of 96.4 mph and a spin rate of 2,336 rpm.


This is a fastball that has slight lateral movement towards the pitcher’s glove side. Ohtani uses this pitch to jam right-handed hitters and induce weak contact.

He threw it 15.7% of the time in 2023, with an average velocity of 90.9 mph and a spin rate of 2,241 rpm.


This is a fastball that has a downward movement and looks like a changeup. Ohtani uses this pitch to fool hitters who are expecting a fastball and get them to swing over it. 

He threw it 6.5% of the time in 2023, with an average velocity of 88.8 mph and a spin rate of 1,553 rpm.


This is a fastball that has a downward movement and sinks towards the pitcher’s arm side. Ohtani uses this pitch to generate ground balls and avoid home runs. 

He threw it 6% of the time in 2023, with an average velocity of 94.9 mph and a spin rate of 2,099 rpm.


This is a breaking ball that has a lot of vertical movement and drops sharply. Ohtani uses this pitch to surprise hitters who are looking for a fastball or a sweeper. 

He threw it 3.6% of the time in 2023, with an average velocity of 75 mph and a spin rate of 2,478 rpm.


This is a breaking ball that has lateral movement and slides towards the pitcher’s arm side. Ohtani rarely uses this pitch, as he prefers his sweeper and cutter for breaking balls. 

He threw it only 0.2% of the time in 2023, with an average velocity of 83.7 mph and a spin rate of 2,295 rpm.

How Good Is Shohei at Pitching?

How Good Is Shohei at Pitching?

Shohei Ohtani’s pitching ability is nothing short of exceptional, and he has quickly become one of the most exciting and dynamic pitchers in Major League Baseball. 

His prowess on the mound has made him a standout talent, and his performances have drawn significant attention and admiration from fans, players, and analysts alike.

Here’s a closer look at how good Shohei Ohtani is at pitching:

Velocity and Power

Ohtani’s fastball is often described as electric, and for good reason. He consistently hits triple-digit speeds on the radar gun, making him one of the hardest-throwing pitchers in the league. 

This extreme velocity puts immense pressure on opposing batters, forcing them to react quickly and making his fastball a devastating weapon.

Pitch Arsenal and Versatility

Ohtani’s pitch repertoire is not limited to just his fastball. He has developed a well-rounded arsenal that includes a splitter, slider, curveball, and changeup. 

This diverse set of pitches allows him to attack batters from various angles, change speeds, and keep them off balance. It’s not just the speed of his pitches but the combination and variety that makes him so effective.

Control and Command

While power pitching is impressive, it’s Ohtani’s control and command that elevate him to an elite level. 

He can place his pitches with precision, hitting the corners of the strike zone and exploiting hitters’ weaknesses. 

His ability to consistently throw strikes while working the edges of the zone is a hallmark of his success.

Strikeout Dominance

Ohtani’s ability to generate strikeouts is a defining feature of his pitching. His explosive fastball combined with a splitter that drops sharply makes it difficult for batters to make contact. 

His strikeout rate reflects his ability to get hitters to swing and miss, a crucial skill in modern baseball.

Adaptability and Sequencing

Ohtani’s knowledge of the game and ability to adapt to different situations is noteworthy. He can adjust his approach based on the count, the situation, and the opposing hitters. 

His pitch sequencing keeps batters guessing, and he knows when to mix in his secondary pitches effectively.

Two-Way Prowess

What truly sets Ohtani apart is his unique status as a two-way player. Not only is he an exceptional pitcher, but he’s also a powerful hitter. 

This dual threat makes him a true phenomenon in the sport, showcasing his all-around baseball skills.


What pitches does Shohei Ohtani throw?

Shohei Ohtani is known for throwing a diverse set of pitches, including a four-seam fastball, splitter, slider, curveball, and changeup.

Does Shohei Ohtani have a favorite pitch?

Ohtani’s favorite pitch is the sweeper, a breaking ball that has a lot of horizontal movement and drops sharply.

How many different pitch types are in Shohei Ohtani’s repertoire?

Shohei Ohtani’s pitch repertoire includes five different pitches: the four-seam fastball, splitter, slider, curveball, and changeup.

Can you describe Shohei Ohtani’s pitching style?

Ohtani’s pitching style is characterized by his impressive velocity, diverse pitch selection, control, and adaptability. His combination of power and finesse makes him a formidable pitcher.

What are Ohtani’s most dominant pitches?

Ohtani’s most dominant pitches are often considered to be his four-seam fastball and splitter. His fastball boasts incredible velocity, while the splitter features late, sharp movement.

To Recap

Shohei Ohtani’s pitching arsenal is a testament to his versatility and skill on the mound.

His best pitches include a blazing four-seam fastball that often reaches triple-digit speeds, a devastating splitter with late, sharp movement, and a slider that keeps hitters off balance with its lateral break.

These pitches, complemented by a curveball and changeup, give Ohtani the ability to dominate opposing batters.

What truly sets him apart is not just the quality of these individual pitches but his mastery of sequencing and adaptability. 

As a two-way player, Ohtani’s exceptional pitching is only part of his remarkable story in the world of baseball.

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John Means

John Means is a professional baseball player who has played in the major leagues for the Kansas City Royals and the Oakland Athletics. He made his major league debut with the Royals in 2009. He was traded to the Athletics in 2012. Baseball is his favorite sport. His passion about the game is evident in his play. Now he write blogs about baseball and other things whenever he has some free time. LinkedIn

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