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Article: A Tale Of Two Rookies: Fernando Romero and Shohei Ohtani

shohei ohtani fernando romero
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#1 Cody Christie

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 01:12 PM

Fernando Romero and Shohei Ohtani have taken very different paths to the big leagues. Both players made their big league debuts during the age-23 season but Ohtani’s certainly came with a greater amount of hype. On Sunday, the two rookies will square off in Los Angeles with bragging rights on the line.

That being said, a mid-May game is hardly something to prove which player will have a better career. Both of these budding stars have the potential to be great and they have shown some similarities at this early juncture in their careers.Throwing Gas
For Twins fans, it’s no secret that Romero’s fastball has a lot of life. Ohtani is more of a mystery as this will be only his sixth start at the big league level. When it comes to rookie pitchers, Romero and Ohtani are two of the hardest throwing pitchers in the league.

Success at the big league level comes from mixing up pitches and both pitchers have tried to find a way to keep batters off-balance. Romero actually throws his sinker (39.7%) more often than his fastball (26.3%). Ohtani throws his fastball more frequently (45.6%) but his split finger and slider add a lot of movement for the batter to track.

Ohtani has allowed a home run in four of his five starts. In his third start of the year, he was pulled from the game with a blister on his throwing hand. Since returning from the blister, he’s pitched into the sixth inning in both starts but he has allowed six earned runs on 12 hits. He also has a 13 to 7 strikeout to walk ratio during that stretch.

(Stat)casting a Wide Net
Romero and Ohtani have a limited amount of combined starts at the big league level but their Statcast data is starting to paint a picture. Romero has thrown 194 pitches with only 25 batted balls. Out of those balls, only one batter has barreled up a ball against him and he is averaging an 87.4 exit velocity with a 1.6 launch angle.

Ohtani has a little bit larger sample size as he has thrown 445 pitches. Out of that total, there have been 63 batted balls and three balls have been barreled up. Ohtani has allowed some harder hit balls with an exit velocity of 87.7 and a launch angle of 17.8.

Other Statcast numbers also show the similarities between these two pitchers. Romero’s expected batting average (.237 XBA) is only 14 points higher than Ohtani (.223). Also, Romero has only allowed two extra-base hits, both doubles, so his expect slugging percentage (.331 XSLG) is over 50 points lower than Ohtani (.384 XSLG).

If both players stay healthy and continue to pitch well, there could be quite the race for the American League Rookie of the Year Award. What are you looking forward to seeing on Sunday afternoon? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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Cody Christie
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#2 Dave The Dastardly

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 01:35 PM

"What are you looking forward to seeing on Sunday afternoon?"

 

I'd be looking forward to watching the game. Alas, MLB in its wisdom has informed me that since Fox Sports North is considered a "local" station, and since I live an hour south of the Twins' stadium the game in California is not available to me on MLBTV as its considered a "local" game for me.

 

Baffles me how MLB intends on building its fan base by not carrying games on network TV where current non-fans might be exposed to the game.

 

What's that old saying about cutting your nose off to spite your face?

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#3 Blake

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 01:37 PM

7 innings of shutout ball with the Twins bullpen > Angels bullpen.


#4 jun

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 04:10 PM

Romero is a bit wild. He really needs to control his pitches better.

#5 mikelink45

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 08:26 PM

Romero looked great and has a wonderful start to his career.I just hope it is a long career with the Twins.No complaints about anything he has done so far.Ohtani is the player we read about.It is hard to believe that he can live up to all that hype.

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#6 Oldgoat_MN

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 03:06 AM

Ohtani has the early edge for rookie of the year. His pitching alone would probably be enough. His hitting puts him over the top.

The kid is a treat to watch.

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#7 USNMCPO

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 08:38 AM

 

"What are you looking forward to seeing on Sunday afternoon?"

 

I'd be looking forward to watching the game. Alas, MLB in its wisdom has informed me that since Fox Sports North is considered a "local" station, and since I live an hour south of the Twins' stadium the game in California is not available to me on MLBTV as its considered a "local" game for me.

 

Baffles me how MLB intends on building its fan base by not carrying games on network TV where current non-fans might be exposed to the game.

 

What's that old saying about cutting your nose off to spite your face?

I would enjoy listening to the games when I am out of town. Unfortunately, I no longer subscribe to SM/Sirius sat radio and MLB will not stream radio broadcasts w/o an MLB subscription. I am hardly a millennial but it seems to me that one way to attract a younger audience would be to allow them to receive their broadcasts on the device of their choice.


#8 IndyTwinsFan

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 10:40 AM

 

"What are you looking forward to seeing on Sunday afternoon?"

 

I'd be looking forward to watching the game. Alas, MLB in its wisdom has informed me that since Fox Sports North is considered a "local" station, and since I live an hour south of the Twins' stadium the game in California is not available to me on MLBTV as its considered a "local" game for me.

 

Baffles me how MLB intends on building its fan base by not carrying games on network TV where current non-fans might be exposed to the game.

 

What's that old saying about cutting your nose off to spite your face?

I get the same experience living just outside Indianapolis.Indy is considered to be in the baseball "home" viewership zone for both Chicago and Cincinnati. Therefore, I am never able to view any games against the White Sox/Cubs and also the Reds, even on the Extra Innings premium package on DirecTV. Very frustrating at times, but I've learned how to live with it.


#9 Doomtints

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 11:51 AM

This was a really fun game to watch.


#10 twins1095

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 07:19 PM

Question -- Romero struggled with his command a little last night.Also one difference I noticed was that he was throwing a breaking ball that had a downward movement a lot more...was that his change-up or was his slider not moving east-west as much as it was in previous starts?He seemed to mostly use his fastball and something slower than that that moved mostly north and south...

 

 

Anyone have any further thoughts on this?




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