(Translated. News article from Nikkan Sports.)
21 year old Japanese phenom, ace starting pitcher Shohei Otani of the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters… just said in an interview that he will play for a Major league team that wants him as both pitcher/non-pitcher (outfielder or probably DH… just as long as he can bat). He really loves hitting, and he said by the time he gets posted, he wants to play for a team that wants him to bat or take the field, he is willing to accept even less money just for him to have a chance to play as pitcher/non-pitcher. Shohei Otani, who went 15-5 last year in 22 starts have a 2.24 ERA with 196 strikeouts in 160.2 innings pitched, and he was also the runner-up for the Sawamura award, his 2015 batting line was just .205/.356/.252, but the year before that… he hit .274/.505/.338 with 10 homeruns and 35 RBI’s in 212 at bats. You can see his other NPB league stats here. Start the countdown, just 3/4 years left for him to get posted… Another note: Shohei Otani has the fastest fastball speed record in the NPB among Japanese pitchers with 162 kph, breaking Tokyo Yakult Swallows starting pitcher Yoshinori Sato’s 161 kph fastball… also tying former Yomiuri Giants closer Marc Kroon’s 162 kph fastball.
Shohei Otani’s 2015 pitching highlights, see all his 196 K’s here.
See Otani’s 2014 homerun highlights.
Man, he’s definitely fun to watch. Now, I’m just hoping his rival Shintaro Fujinami, starting pitcher for the Hanshin Tigers would also follow suit.