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Dodgers’ Shohei Ohtani smashes hardest-hit ball of his career with 119.2 mph RBI single vs. Blue Jays

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A mere four days after registering the hardest-hit ball of the 2024 season, Los Angeles Dodgers star slugger Shohei Ohtani smote the hardest-hit ball of his career. Here’s a look at Ohtani’s second-inning RBI single against the Blue Jays (LAD-TOR GameTracker) that left his bat at 119.2 mph: 

Indeed, that’s the hardest-hit ball not only of the 2024 season to date but also of Ohtani’s superlative MLB career. In this particular instance, Ohtani turned around a 2-2 98-mph fastball from Yusei Kikuchi. It traveled a mere 154 feet, but that’s because the launch angle off the bat was just 6 degrees. Had Ohtani managed to elevate it to the desired range of angles, then it would’ve almost certainly left the park. 

In related matters, Ohtani has been on a heater of late. He came into Saturday’s contest with a 2024 slash line of .354 AVG/.419 OBP/.681 SLG with seven homers and an MLB-leading 14 doubles. Three of his homers came in his last five games, including one in the Friday series opener against Toronto. 

As for that 119.2 mph off the bat, it’s rarified air, as you would expect. Just five hitters in the Statcast era, or 2015 onward, have managed exit velocities of 120 mph or greater. Those are Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Oneil Cruz, Ronald Acuña Jr., and Gary Sánchez. Stanton has achieved the feat on 14 occasions (!), while everyone else has only one such batted ball. Will Ohtani soon join those exclusive ranks? Recent trends say, why not? 

Ohtani, who inked a record $700 million free-agent pact with the Dodgers this past winter, won’t pitch in 2024 as he recovers from elbow surgery. As you saw above, however, he’s still hitting, and he’s hitting quite dangerously and potently. 

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