Ohtani: 2022 baseballs 'aren't as juiced' as they used to be
"I do feel it personally, and just by watching the games, I feel like the balls aren't as juiced," Ohtani replied when asked if the balls were deader this season, according to The Athletic's Sam Blum.
"And just by looking at the numbers - exit velo, launch angle - there are some balls that should leave the yard that haven't."
The reigning AL MVP may have a point about the new balls, which were altered to be softer, less bouncy, and have more drag before this season, according to the New York Post's Jon Heyman.
Home run totals are down drastically around the league, with all 30 teams combining to hit 797 long balls following Monday night's games. At this point a year ago, the entire league combined for 1,161, according to FanGraphs.
While some teams, like the Angels, have about the same number of homers as last season so far, there are other clubs like the Boston Red Sox (16), Kansas City Royals (13), and Detroit Tigers (11) who are lacking in homer production following the ball switch.
"Yeah, they're dead balls. We were in Atlanta. I watched some guys hit some balls in the 107 (MPH), 109, 105. Outs. All outs, and (the ball) flies there," Chicago Cubs outfielder Ian Happ recently explained on The Compound podcast.