John Smoltz has been around the game long enough that there’s not much he hasn’t seen.
But that hasn't stopped Shohei Ohtani from blowing him away.
The Braves legend and current FOX baseball analyst has been on the call during the World Baseball Classic – including both semifinals games and Tuesday’s final. That’s given him a front row seat to watch some of the best players around the world, which, again, is not something he’s unfamiliar with.
But in an appearance on 92.9 The Game’s “The Steakhouse,” Smoltz told an incredible story about watching Ohtani take batting practice.
"Ohtani yesterday – if you watch the game and they show the scoreboard – he hit a ball off the center field scoreboard," Smoltz said. "That’s impossible in batting practice. He was hitting them to the back row of the upper deck down the right field line."
For reference, here’s a shot of loanDepot Park that shows both the center field scoreboard and right field seats.
Yeah, quite a ways.
Smoltz’ praise wasn’t limited to Ohtani, either. Braves slugger Ronald Acuna also got the Hall of Famer’s attention.
“I’m just telling you right now, I’ve been following this game for a long time," Smoltz said. "I watched Acuna hit batting practice, and I’ve never seen balls go where they shouldn’t be going off a right-handed bat.“
The WBC has been electric this year. While the Edwin Diaz and Jose Altuve injuries have marred it on some level, the games have been gripping, the crowds have been incredible and the players clearly love it. It promises to be fascinating Tuesday night when Japan takes on the US in the championship.
LISTEN on the Audacy App
Sign Up and Follow Audacy Sports
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram