Shohei Ohtani took batting practice outside on Monday for the first time since he underwent elbow surgery to repair a torn UCL.
Ohtani hit 10 home runs in 21 swings, and wowed everyone in attendance.
For videos and more on the batting practice, click here.
After the batting practice, Ohtani spoke to reporters about how he felt, and provided an update on his progress as the March 20 season opener in Korea nears. Ohtani said he was planning to “swing on the lighter side,” but ended up hitting 10 home runs anyway.
“I felt like the swings were feeling really good, which is a really good sign,” Ohtani said through his interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara. “I think it’s trending towards me being ready for Opening Day.”
Ohtani said at DodgerFest that he was “confident” he’d be ready to DH come Opening Day. Last week, he also told reporters that he was ready to start hitting in spring training.
Thus far, he appears to be perfectly on track, and his swing already appears to be as good as it was pre-surgery.
Ohtani, who will only be focused on hitting in 2024, believes he can add “several layers” to his offensive game this season. The three-time All-Star, two-time MVP and two-time Silver Slugger award winner hit 44 home runs, drove in 95 RBIs and led the Majors with a .654 slugging percentage and 1.066 OPS in 2023.
Photo Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports