Angels two-way wonder Shohei Ohtani crushed a 468-foot spring training homer Wednesday afternoon in a game against the Texas Rangers. The two-run shot cleared the batter's eye in center field and marked Ohtani's first home run of 2021 spring training.
Come take a look for yourself:
Sho off 😏#LAASpring pic.twitter.com/DDAohzsZ4d— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) March 3, 2021
Assuming the 468-foot estimate from the Angels PR department is correct, that would mean Ohtani's homer would have been the fifth-longest home run hit during the 2020 regular season.
In 2020, Ohtani was returning to the mound after his 2018 Tommy John surgery, but he allowed seven runs while recording just five outs over a pair of starts before the Angels shut him down (with a forearm strain) from throwing for the season. He finished out the season as the Angels designated hitter, but hit just .190/.291/.366 with seven home runs, 24 RBI and six doubles in 44 games. Compared to his first two seasons in MLB, his 2020 slash line was not up to par with his usual above-average offensive production.
The club confirmed that 26-year-old Ohtani would return to his role as a two-way player for the 2021 MLB season. Heading into this season, regaining and maintaining power at the plate will be key for the 2018 American League Rookie of the Year winner, so Ohtani's homer could be a good sign of things to come. It's more good news for Angels fans as the home run comes just a few days after it was reported that Ohtani hit 100 mph in his bullpen session on Saturday.
The abbreviated 2020 season was a disappointment for the Angels as they stumbled their way to another sub-.500 season finish for the fifth straight year and missed the expanded postseason. You could even go so far as to say the Angels offseason was a disappointment, as well. The pressure is going to be on for this club to get prime-Mike Trout back in the playoffs, and a healthy, productive Ohtani is a huge piece of that puzzle.