Shohei Ohtani's risky aggressiveness was all part of the plan for Dodgers

Shohei Ohtani is off to one of the best offensive starts in the history of Major League Baseball. He's hitting for contact and power, disrupting the game on the basepaths and creating runs on his own. He's truly a unicorn of the sport.

But it's the aggressiveness and efficiency on the bases that has come, basically out of nowhere for the Dodgers superstar. And it seems as though this additional aggressiveness on the bases has been a part of the Dodgers plan since they signed him to the biggest contract in baseball history this offseason.

Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts urged Shohei Ohtani to run free and be aggressive on the bases

In his six-year career with the Los Angeles Angels, Shohei Ohtani stole 86 bases across 701 games. That's good for an average of 14.33 stolen bases a year and 0.12 stolen bases per game. In his 49 games as a Dodger, Ohtani has stolen 13 bases. That's good for a pace of over 40 stolen bases this year and 0.26 stolen bases a game.

His speed hasn't changed. But his aggressiveness on the bases has and it all seems to come back to a spring conversation that Ohtani had with the manager, Dave Roberts.

In that conversation, Roberts spoke about being free and aggressive on the bases, especially hitting in front of Freddie Freeman. Running the bases with Freeman at the plate creates much better opportunities to run because of a pitcher's inability to pound the zone with just fastballs against one of the league's best hitters.

Ohtani has taken full advantage of this newfound freedom and looks to be running freely and aggressively in 2024. He's yet to be thrown out on 13 stolen bases.

This kind of aggression can create runs by itself. That's an additional nuance to a Dodgers offense that doesn't need help scoring runs, but Roberts will take all the additional scoring he can get.

"Keep hitting homers and keep stealing bases and it's shaping up to be a really special season," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

This article was originally published on fansided.com as Shohei Ohtani's risky aggressiveness was all part of the plan for Dodgers.

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