Player Page

Shohei Otani | Starting Pitcher

Team: International Player
Age / DOB:  (23) / 7/5/1994
Ht / Wt:  6'4" / 190
Bats / Throws: Left / Right

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Recent News

Eight representatives from the Dodgers' front office including president of baseball operations Andrew Freidman were in Japan on Sunday to scout Shohei Otani.
The Dodgers, like most other teams, have expressed interest in the two-way Japanese star who may decide to make the jump to Major League Baseball this winter. Otani thew a 58-pitch bullpen session prior to Sunday's game, then went 3-for-3 plus a walk for the Nippon Ham Fighters on Sunday. The Dodgers aren't able to exceed a $300k signing bonus for an international prospect during the 2017-2018 signing period, so they may hope that Otani waits an additional year to come stateside. Aug 20 - 10:07 PM

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Player News


Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports believes the Rangers are the "betting favorite" for 22-year-old Japanese star Shohei Otani.

Passan notes in his latest column, however, that MLB team executives "have absolutely no idea what's going on" with Otani -- whether he'll leave Japan after this season or next, or wait to maximize his earning potential when he becomes unshackled from international signing regulations in 2019. There's also no real clarity about his desired destination, though Texas has been suggested before and NL execs seem to think he will sign with an AL team so that he can both pitch and hit. Otani is one of the best baseball talents in the world, a two-way player with a 102 mph fastball and the offensive upside of a perennial All-Star.'s Jon Wertheim wrote in April that executives with Otani's club in Japan, the Nippon Ham Fighters, believe this will be his final NPB season. But nobody really knows anything for sure.
Source: Yahoo Sports
Jun 8 - 2:16 PM's Jon Wertheim writes that Nippon Ham Fighters executives "admit that this will likely be (Shohei Otani's) final season in Japan."

Wertheim asked Otani whether he should say "if or when" the star comes to the majors. Via a translator, Otani said: "That's a tough one. I mean, nothing is for certain so I guess it's 'if'." While Otani might not be committing to playing in the big leagues, most everyone believes it's going to happen, and probably sooner rather than later. The new collective bargaining agreement caps the earning potential of international players under age 25 (Otani is 22), but Wertheim says "there could be loopholes that allow Ohtani to avoid this cap." Otani is a star both as a pitcher and hitter in Japan, although most believe he'll be a pitcher in the majors. However, it's not out of the question that Otani pulls some double duty.
Apr 7 - 2:33 PM

Japanese right-hander Shohei Otani will not pitch for Team Japan in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

Otani recently suffered an ankle injury that would greatly affect his pitching delivery, though a report from Sankei Sports suggests the highly-coveted two-way talent may try to serve as a hitter for Team Japan in the March tournament. Otani, 22, is expected to be posted for MLB free agency following the 2017 regular season. He will draw massive bids if he repeats his NPB output from 2016.
Jan 31 - 8:57 PM

According to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal, MLB officials told international scouting directors on Tuesday that that there will be no exception in regarding to the international spending limit if Japanese right-hander Shohei Otani is posted next offseason.

As part of the new collective bargaining agreement, there will be a new hard cap (around $6 million) on international spending for players 25 years old and under. There was some speculation in the media about a possible special exception in the case of an amazing talent like the 22-year-old Otani, but as of now, MLB officials aren't willing to do that. In other words, Otani would land a deal significantly below what he could receive if he waits until 2019. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported over the weekend that the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters were planning to post Otani after the 2017 season.
Tue, Dec 6, 2016 02:36:00 PM

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Nippon Ham Fighters are set to post Shotei Otani following the 2017 season.

It had been an extreme long shot all along that Otani would be posted this winter and now there's clarification that it'll be following the 2017 season. Passan notes that there are ways around the international spending limit on players under 25 so it'll be interesting to see if MLB or the MLBPA will adjust the new international signing rules prior to Otani being posted. He's widely considered to be a generational talent, both on the mound and with the bat, and he's likely to command a massive payday.
Sun, Dec 4, 2016 10:16:00 PM

J.J. Cooper of Baseball America reports that Japanese right-hander Shohei Otani is unlikely to be posted this offseason.

There's been speculation that Otani could come over this offseason to take advantage of a very weak crop of free agent starters. However, he's just 22 years old and has played only four seasons in Japan, so if he's posted this offseason the team signing him would be subject to international bonus pool restrictions. Plus, a third of the league wouldn’t be eligible to go after Otani because they have exceeded their international bonus pools in the past two years. If Otani waits until next offseason to be posted, he'll be in line for a much bigger payday and more teams can bid on him. There will be a huge bidding war when Otani does come to the majors. By all accounts, the 22-year-old is a potential superstar as a pitcher and possibly even as a hitter.
Mon, Nov 14, 2016 11:01:00 PM

Japanese right-hander Shohei Otani is unlikely to be posted soon, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.

The 22-year-old came to Arizona with his Japanese team, the Nippon Ham Fighters, for spring training earlier this month. He boasts a 101 mph fastball and is also an accomplished outfielder. One AL scout said Otani will eventually have to choose a position, though he has All-Star potential as both a hitter and pitcher. Otani nearly pursued an MLB career out of high school three years ago but ultimately stayed in Japan.
Source: Boston Globe
Sat, Feb 13, 2016 05:01:00 PM

Japanese right-hander Shohei Otani will join the Nippon Ham Fighters rather than seek a career in Major League Baseball.

Otani figures to come over to the states eventually, but for now he'll stick to tradition and playing professionally in his native country first. The 18-year-old right-hander would have created quite a bidding war between MLB teams given his exciting upside.
Sun, Dec 9, 2012 08:30:00 AM

Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times is hearing that Shohei Otani is likely to remain in Japan.

Otani has expressed a desire to jump from his high school in Japan straight to the professional ranks in the United States, but that would be breaking from tradition and might not be the best thing for his career. The 18-year-old right-hander was selected by the Nippon-Ham Fighters in October's Nippon Professional Baseball Draft. He'll remain on MLB radars for years to come.
Mon, Dec 3, 2012 02:36:00 PM

Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles have scouted Japanese right-hander Shohei Otani.

Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette has connections in the far east, so it's not surprising that the O's have had someone out to see Otani. But, Connolly thinks it's unlikely Baltimore will go after him, as they already "ruffled feathers" by signing a Korean high schooler last year. Otani is under allegiance with the Nippon-Ham Fighters after being drafted by them Thursday. The Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers and Rangers are known to have interest in the 18-year-old.
Fri, Oct 26, 2012 09:05:00 AM

Baseball America's Ben Badler reports that Shohei Otani is free to sign at any time with a major league team.

This clears up a previous belief that Otani would have to wait for the negotiating window for Nippon Professional Baseball draftees to close in late March. The 18-year-old right-hander was drafted on Thursday by the Nippon-Ham Fighters but has made it known that he intends to sign with a Major League Baseball team this winter. And now he is apparently free to do so. The Red Sox, Dodgers and Rangers are known to have interest.
Thu, Oct 25, 2012 04:10:00 PM

Japanese right-hander Shohei Otani won't be allowed to sign with a major league team until early April.

Otani was drafted Thursday by the Nippon-Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball and is now technically under their control until the last day of March -- the deadline for signing drafted players in Japan. "My feelings haven’t changed," the 18-year-old told reporters after being selected. "I’m grateful that they appreciate me, but it doesn’t change my desire to play in America." The Red Sox, Dodgers and Rangers have expressed interest.
Thu, Oct 25, 2012 12:17:00 PM

Shohei Otani was drafted Thursday by the Nippon-Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball.

Otani made it known this past weekend that he intends to sign with a major league team this winter, but Japan's top league is not going to let him go that easily. The 18-year-old right-hander must now break from tradition and decline a spot in Nippon-Ham's organization. He'd be the first player to ever jump from a Japanese high school to the professional ranks in the United States. The Red Sox, Dodgers and Rangers are known to have interest.
Thu, Oct 25, 2012 08:46:00 AM

According to Sanspo, Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters general manager Masao Yamada intends to draft Japanese right-hander Shohei Otani.

Otani announced this weekend that he intends to sign with a major league team this offseason, but he declared himself eligible for the Nippon Professional Baseball draft first. If he is drafted by an NPB team, they will have the right to sign him until the end of March. In other words, it would delay him signing with an MLB team for several months. The Red Sox, Dodgers and Rangers have all met with the 18-year-old right-hander and he's expected to sign with one of them.
Source: NPB Tracker
Wed, Oct 24, 2012 01:27:00 PM

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