Drew Storen has some important offseason plans


In a must-read story from the Washington Post, Adam Kilgore tells us about Drew Storen’s plans to return to Stanford University this fall in order to pursue his degree in product design. 

Storen was selected with the No. 10 overall pick after completing his sophomore season last June. The 23-year-old is currently six quarters away from earning his degree and has every intention of reaching his goal.

“I’ve grown up a lot in the past year,” Storen said Tuesday, sitting in
the Turner Field dugout in Atlanta. “I feel like I’m going back to high
school or something – kind of go back to that different attitude. It’ll
be fun. It’s going to be great. I really enjoy the Bay Area. I really
enjoy being in school. A lot of my best friends from college are there.
Why not go back and chip away at my education?”

“Playing baseball is like playing with house money, almost. If it works
out and I don’t have to work a day in my life, that’s great. If not,
then I fall back on a Stanford education.”

It’s easy to forget this — especially when we are talking about multi-million dollar athletes — but Kilgore cites a study from the Wall Street Journal last year which found only that 26 players and managers on major league
rosters – or 3.3 percent – had graduated from a four-year college. 

Shohei Ohtani is having a brutal spring training

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Spring training is tough for players under the best of circumstances. Even in an age when players work out all year, getting back into the swing of baseball-at-full-speed is tough. Many players spend the bulk of February and March knocking off the rust and getting their timing back. Because of this — and because the games have no real stakes — it is not wise to take spring training statistics super seriously. Especially if the player in question is assured of a spot on the roster and is trying to avoid injury before the regular season arrives.

Spring training for Shohei Ohtani is doubly difficult. Not only does he have to knock the rust off from the offseason, but he (a) has to get used to a new country and language; (b) has to get to know all new teammates, coaches and, really, an entirely new baseball culture; and (c) do all of that while dealing with a media crush that hasn’t been seen in baseball since Ichiro first arrived 17 years ago. In short, Ohtani is under massive pressure and has to make massive adjustments in a short time.

With that said, neither the Angels nor Ohtani can be all that pleased with how his spring training has gone. In two actual major league exhibition games he’s allowed eight runs in two and two-thirds innings. Seven of those came on Friday when he was shelled by the Rockies in an inning and a third. If you include B-games against minor leaguers, he has allowed 17 runs on 18 hits, four of which were homers, in four games. As a hitter he’s 2-for-20.

As Jeff Fletcher of the OC Register notes, Ohtani’s peripherals are not bad, as he has struck out a lot of guys and walked very few and the average on balls in play against him has been brutal, which is not super sustainable. Bad luck and some fat pitches at a time of the year when luck doesn’t really matter and the pitches, because of the rust, are likely to be fatter than normal.

As Fletcher also notes, Nolan Arenado, who faced Ohtani on Friday, said that his stuff looked good and that he’s going to be a good big league pitcher. Ohtani and Angels officials are all striking the right notes about bad luck and adjustments, saying that they’re not worried.

I imagine they’d be worrying even less if things had gone well this spring. Unless of course this is just a professional wrestling-style work aimed at getting more of us to watch his regular season debut, in which he’ll reveal that he was sandbaggin’ all along.