There’s a wonderful collaborative multimedia piece on the Washington Post website analyzing Bryce Harper’s violent-yet-beautiful swing.
The story, written by Adam Kilgore, goes in-depth on the roots and mechanics of Harper’s swing. It includes an anecdote about how the young phenom had an important realization at about 7 or 8 years old. Yes, while most of us were watching cartoons and drinking juice boxes, Harper was thinking critically about his swing.
Kilgore’s story is complemented by a wealth of data, ranging from how Harper is pitched to his success rate against particular pitches. Finally, there’s an interesting video breakdown of Harper’s swing which shows an eerie similarity to one of the best home run hitters in history.
Tremendous work all around. Put aside 10 minutes and check it all out. It’s well worth your time.
Sure, spring training games don’t count toward anything “real,” but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy Angels’ star pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani mowing down his first big league competitors.
On Saturday, Ohtani took the mound against the Brewers for his first official outing in an Angels uniform. After allowing a leadoff double to Jonathan Villar, the 23-year-old righty settled down and issued a three-pitch strikeout to Nate Orf, his first of the spring.
It wasn’t the cleanest inning for the right-hander: the Brewers plated their first run on a walk, wild pitch and subsequent throwing error by catcher Martin Maldonado. Ohtani didn’t let things unravel further, however, and induced a pop-up for the second out before catching Brett Phillips looking on a called strike three to end the inning.
While the two-way phenom only lasted another two batters (a Keon Broxton dinger finished him off in the second), he’s already started to look like a formidable presence on the mound. Time will tell whether he can deliver at the plate as well — rumor has it he could feature in the Angels’ lineup as soon as Monday.