Dodgers Team News

Dodgers’ Shohei Ohtani Has Been Focusing More On Baserunning This Season

Shohei Ohtani is one of the fastest players in Major League Baseball. The Dodgers hoped their $700 million man would create havoc on the basepaths as an offense-only player this season, and so far that hope has been a reality.

Ohtani is 13-for-13 in stolen bases through the season’s first two months. He recently dropped a surprise bunt, forcing the opponent to make a bad throw that allowed him to reach base. Dodgers third base coach Dino Ebel has been pleasantly surprised with Ohtani’s open-mindedness with the team’s baserunning philosophy. He spoke with Doug McKain of Dodgers Nation about Ohtani.

“I think he just came in, you know, open-minded that you know, one he’s going to learn what we do here and he loves what we’re doing. And two you know, he just wants to be the best player when he steps on the field. So if he can help the team in the batter’s box if he can help a team scoring a run like yesterday, stole the base, they threw the ball away, scores a run. That’s what’s Shohei Ohtani’s about and that’s where he wants to improve every day as a baserunner.”

Dodgers third base coach Dino Ebel, via Dodgers Nation’s Doug McKain

Ohtani has scored five times after stealing a base this season and is a constant threat whenever he reaches first base safely. Out of the batter’s box, Ohtani is tops in the big leagues, ranking in the top 10 in the first 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, and 45 feet in 90-feet running splits (home to first base).

Ohtani is on pace for 41 stolen bases this season, his first with the Dodgers. The next stolen base will be the 100th of his career.

Dodgers Dave Roberts owns the franchise record for best stolen-base percentage in a single season. He was successful on 97.1 percent of attempts (33-for-34) in 2004. Ohtani previously broke Roberts’ record for most home runs in franchise history by a Japanese-born player.

Could Ohtani take another team record away from his current manager? There’s still plenty of season to play, but Ohtani is a perfect 100 percent stealing bases so far.

Photo Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

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Maren Angus

Maren Angus-Coombs was born in Los Angeles and raised in Nashville, Tenn. She is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and has been a sports writer since 2008. Despite being raised in the South, her sports obsession has always been in Los Angeles. She is currently a staff writer for Dodgers Nation and the LA Sports Report Network.

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