Shohei Ohtani Hasn't Taken Batting Practice This Season, Says Angels Hitting Coach

Blake SchusterContributor IJuly 8, 2021

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 02: Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) hits a two run home run in the fourth inning of a game against the Baltimore Orioles played on July 2, 2021 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA. (Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Shohei Ohtani's historic first half of the 2021 season will be dissected and debated among baseball fans for years to come, which makes this nugget dropped into ESPN's Baseball Tonight podcast with Buster Olney even more incredible.

The current MLB leader in home runs (32) doesn't take batting practice. 

Olney said Los Angeles Angels hitting coach Jeremy Reed told him Ohtani hasn't taken batting practice once in 2021. 

"He does a few flip drills, he gets ready and then he just rakes," Olney said. "Against the best pitchers in the world."

Los Angeles Angels @Angels

Unreal. <a href="https://t.co/NPJEYOv2Yf">pic.twitter.com/NPJEYOv2Yf</a>

The 27-year-old is far from the first star athlete to skip practice, but few players have found as much success at the plate as Ohtani. Through 81 games, he's slashing .279/.364/.700 with 69 RBI and 12 stolen bases. 

It's an unfathomable season even before considering his 3.49 ERA over 67 innings pitched. 

As the legend of Ohtani grows, don't bother arriving to the ballpark early to see him hit. The slugger saves his swings for the pitches that count.