Is it surprising to see Shohei Ohtani at #1 on the MLB batting average list? | Baseball Bar-B-Cast

Yahoo Sports senior MLB analyst Jordan Shusterman and senior MLB analyst Jake Mintz break down the top batting average leaders and react to Shohei Ohtani being first on that list. Hear the full conversation on the “Baseball Bar-B-Cast” podcast - and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen.

Video Transcript

Charlie Otani is all these other things.

Um We have never thought of him as a like a, an a batting average guy.

He is currently hitting 356.

You mentioned to me before the show started that Luisa Rise who uh is the most famous singles merchant in the game today last year, he hit 354.


So show you Otani is batting average right now uh through basically two months of baseball is better than where Louis Rice finished last season.

This fact of Otani uh leading the league in average made us pull up the uh MLB batting average leader board because right now what an absolute delight.

Let me start here.

There are 16 players qualified players hitting over 300.

That is kind of the line that we use as a baseball society to which we should, we should also say 300.

Now, whether whether you care about batting average or not 303 100 average now means more than ever because batting average is at an all time low and so you can roll your eyes.

But like if you're hitting 300 in 2024 I am impressed.

I don't care what you bet.

I like.

Truly, I'm not, this is not no joke you can say, oh my God, that's a terrible take.

You're bad at, you know, Saber metrics.

I don't care if you're hit 320 24.

I am.

You are doing something at number three jerks and pro far is hitting 339.

If I told you this 10 years ago, you'd be like, well, yeah, he's the top prospect in baseball.

If I told you that five years ago, you'd be like that guy stinks.

He is not going to be in the league.

If I told you this last year, you'd be like he's hitting, you know, 229 for the Rockies.

Yeah, I was gonna say right?

But obviously the pro V trajectory has kind of been a bit wild, but I don't know, man, I'm happy for him just that, that's awesome and a huge part of uh of the Padres success this season.

Uh At number two is Salvador Perez who is hitting 343 which is so goofy and so great.

Salvia is a joy.

He's been a huge part of the Royals emergence this season.

He has been unconscious of the plate.

He will not hit 343 all season.

This is, he is not a high average guy for the amount that he swings.

It is I just improbable that he has been able to be this productive from a pure hits perspective.

And the 378 babbit surely helps that.

As does the 397 babbit uh for Shohei Otani or that number actually might be higher after last night.

But Shoe Otani is at the top of this leader board batting 356.

And that it's just, it's like, ok, well, he wouldn't have to focus on pitching.

He can actually become a better hitter, like we would say that, but like, did we really think that he was gonna become that much better of a hitter maybe?

Um, and yeah, he's just, I just, he's so unbelievable.

Here's the thing about it, Tony is like, we, we're like, oh, well, I guess he can't win MVP this year because he's not pitching.

He's like, oh, really?

Are you sure about that?

He's on the Dodgers?


He has too many good players.

Um, he's unbelievable.

He is unbelievable.

And he's 13 for 13 still on basis because of course he is.