Report: Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters to post Shohei Otani after the 2017 regular season

Some news out of left field here folks, the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, of the Pacific league, just gave the green light that they will post star pitcher/outfielder/DH Shohei Otani, 22, next year in the off-season. According to the report, the organization said that Otani has done more than enough for the team… such as posting solid performances in these past years, and also mostly winning this year’s Nippon Series against the Hiroshima Toyo Carp, their first championship title since 2006… they say that Shohei Otani is ready enough for greater challenges overseas, resulting them to give their utmost approval to post Otani in the 2017 off-season… his lifelong dream to play in the Major leagues. With this finally happening, Shohei Otani will be the youngest ever player in NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball) to be posted, as he will be just 23 years old next year.

With the current posting fee cap, Major league teams who are willing to sign Shohei Otani must provide the maximum cap of 20 million USD for his Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters team, while another separate contract for Otani… which some sources stating that he’s worth at around 300 million USD, on a multi-year deal.

In his past 4 years playing in NPB, Shohei Otani, as pitcher, currently owns 39-13 record, and along with an earned run average of 2.49 in 80 games played (517.2 innings pitched). Meanwhile, as batter, he currently owns a batting line of .275/.347/.491 with 40 homeruns and 135 RBI in 338 games played (939 PA, with 833 AB) in his career. He finished his 2016 regular season campaign with a record of 10-4 and an earned run average of 1.86 in 21 games played (140 innings pitched) as a starter, while making one relief appearance in the 9th in the final game of the regular season against the Seibu Lions… also batting .322/.416/.588 with 22 homeruns and 67 RBI in 104 games played (382 PA, with 323 AB) in the year primarily as the team’s DH. He also won this year’s Pacific league MVP award, and the PL Best 9 Selection, both as a pitcher, and batter.

10 thoughts on “Report: Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters to post Shohei Otani after the 2017 regular season

  1. Oh goody, a not yet mentioned Japanese team with which I can familiarize our readers.

    The Nippon Ham Fighters don’t fight with hams. Yes, high school football players practice tackle hanging flitches. Especially in Arkansas. Not baseball players, and not in Japan. The Fighters are merely owned by the Nippon Ham Company. We couldn’t do a respectable tonkatsu without ’em.

    You’re curious about their logo? Who wouldn’t be. Here:

    Disappointed? No pig. Ah well. At least they look kosher. Here’s the stadium, the Sapporo Dome in Hokkaido, the northermost of Japan’s home islands:

    You might think of the Fighters as the Minnesota Twins of the NPB, except sane enough to play indoors when necessary. Note: Sapporo is a beautiful city, and Hokkaido is home to both the non-racially Japanese Ainu tribe and the wonderful snow monkeys, articles about which in National Geographic kept you in your dentist’s bathroom so long you missed your root canal.

    Here are their cheerleaders:

    Anyway, here’s a map and some scenes of Hokkaido. You’ll see Sapporo in the central southwest of the island. Most of the island is national park, wildlife sanctuary or too wild to bother designating. It is relentlessly beautiful, like New Zealand – so much so it hurts to stare at it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pitcher and DH? If Babe Ruth were playing today in the make ball go far American League would he pitch and DH on his non pitching days? Will this guy do that?

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Will this guy do that?”

      Depends on which league he’ll be playing, if Otani goes to the AL, he’ll DH when he’s not pitching. In Japan, Kuriyama-kantoku uses him as DH 3 times a week in the regular season this year… with days of rest being a difference, NPB (6-7 days) compared to MLB’s (5 days), how they’ll use him is pretty much a question mark for now. If he goes to the NL, he will most likely be used as an outfielder in my opinion.

      He can play left, and right field. He’s pretty good at handling those corners too though.


      • I dunno – American managers (and front orifices) are much more protective of their investments than their lower-budgeted Japanese brethren. If they invest the big bucks in this guy, he’ll pitch and sit, pitch and sit, pitch and sit like the rest of MLB’s monster-contract pitchers do. Maybe he’ll pinch hit on those rare occasions when the extra innings are unravelling like a dropped stringball and the bench is otherwise played.


        • I betcha a barrel of lutefisk that you’re right. In addition to wanting to protect their investment they’ll also want him to focus on only one aspect of his transition to MLB play at a time.

          But it sure would be fun if he did and you wouldn’t have to eat the lutefisk.


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