DALLAS – Shohei Otani, considered as the best hitter and pitcher in Japan’s Baseball League, has maintained his popularity in MLB after he expressed his interest to join the baseball league in the USA.
It is hard to see a baseball player that is a good hitter and a great pitcher at the same time. Madison Bumgarner has caught the eyes of many baseball fans as he broke the stereotype in baseball that a good pitcher is impossible to be a good hitter as well.
Questions have risen from different reports on whether Otani will come back to the USA in 2018 after the MLB Collective Bargaining Agreement. What kind of player will he be in the MLB?
Otani started his career with Nippon Ham Fighter in Japan Baseball League. He was selected in the 2012 NPB amateur draft, and from there, he consistently made his name as one of the top players of Japanese League over the past years.
The remarkable thrower can fast throw and assemble the ball between 96 and 98 and tops out at 100 with progress. Otani has three secondaries, two of which he can use as plus pitches once in MLB. He can also do mix in with fine command.
This elite athlete is a great addition to any team with the mix plus profile alone. Otani was also a solid hitter when he broke a record in 2016 by hitting 22 home runs and a slashing line of .322/.416/.588 over 382 plate exteriors.
The strong lower half and great bat speed of Otani helps him to elevate the ball naturally without exerting much effort. The only problem about Otani is his age as MLB cannot sign a foreign free agent under 25-year-old. This will be counted against the $6 million international bonus hard cap of MLB.
Nonetheless, the 23-year-old Japanese player still has a good future ahead once he has reached the required age and met the qualification of six years service.