How much does Shohei Ohtani really improve the Dodgers in 2024?


The offseason in Major League Baseball is always an exciting time for fans and analysts alike. It’s a time when teams make big moves, sign free agents, and trade players in order to improve their chances of success in the upcoming season. And while there are always plenty of rumors and speculation swirling around during this time, one move that has captured the attention of baseball fans everywhere is the signing of Shohei Ohtani by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Ohtani, who is widely regarded as one of the most talented players in the game, made headlines when he decided to sign with the Dodgers. His ability to both pitch and hit at an elite level has drawn comparisons to Babe Ruth, and his presence on the field is sure to have a major impact on the team’s success.

But while the signing of Ohtani is undoubtedly a huge move for the Dodgers, there are still some factors to consider when thinking about how it will impact the team’s performance on the field. One of those factors is the presence of J.D. Martinez, who served as the team’s designated hitter last season. Martinez had a solid season, slashing .271/.321/.579 with a 135 wRC+. While those numbers are not on par with Ohtani’s MVP season, they are still effective.

The question then becomes whether Ohtani’s 2023 season, where he put up absurd numbers at the plate, is the new normal for him. Ohtani saw improvements in his average exit velocity, barrel-rate, and hard-hit rate, which all contributed to his incredible offensive performance. However, it remains to be seen if he can sustain that level of production moving forward.

There’s also the question of Ohtani’s health. He has had injury issues in the past, and if he were to struggle with injuries while also not performing at his 2023 level, it would still be an improvement over what the Dodgers had last season, but not a monumental leap.

Additionally, there is the question of decline from other key players on the Dodgers roster, such as Freddie Freeman and Mookie Betts. Both players had outstanding seasons in 2023, but it’s difficult to maintain that level of performance year after year, especially as players enter their 30s.

Despite these factors, there’s no denying that the Dodgers are poised to be a formidable team next season. They have a lineup that already featured some of the best hitters in the league, and the addition of Ohtani only strengthens their offensive firepower. It’s safe to say that the Dodgers will once again be a force to be reckoned with and will likely win 100 games or more.

In the end, it’s an exciting time to be a Dodgers fan, as the team has made a major splash in the offseason. While there are still some uncertainties and factors to consider, there’s no denying the impact that Ohtani will have on the team’s success. And who knows, maybe in 2025, when Ohtani returns to the mound, we’ll see something truly special and awe-inspiring. Until then, let the offseason speculation continue, and let’s eagerly await the start of the new season.

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