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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

Shohei Otani is expected to require three months of rehab following his right ankle surgery on Thursday.
Otani underwent the ankle procedure, designed to repair a posterior impingement and remove a bone spur, Thursday at a hospital in Tokyo. In two-to-three weeks he will report to the Nippon Ham Fighters' minor league facility in Kamagaya, Japan to begin the rehab process. This should have no major effect on his attractiveness to Major League Baseball clubs. The uniquely-talented 23-year-old slugger and starting pitcher is expected to make the jump to MLB this winter via the posting process. Oct 12 - 11:03 AM
Source: Kyodo News

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Shohei Otani is scheduled to undergo surgery Thursday in Japan for a posterior impingement in his right ankle.

It'll be a "keyhole" procedure, which is minimally invasive and comes with a fairly short rehab time. Otani injured his right ankle last October during the Japan Series and was limited to four starts this season with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball. None of this will have any effect on his attractiveness to MLB clubs, should the 23-year-old be posted as anticipated this winter. "I want to be in perfect condition for the new season," Otani said in a statement issued by the Fighters. "I have decided to have surgery at this point in time now that the season is over. I will undergo rehab and training after surgery to be able to perform the way I can."
Oct 11 - 8:57 AM

Shohei Otani pitched a two-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts Wednesday in what is expected to be his final start in Nippon Professional Baseball.

Otani's team, the Nippon Ham Fighters, are out of playoff contention and the 23-year-old starting pitcher and outfielder is said to be preparing for a move to Major League Baseball this winter. Otani was limited to just four NPB starts this season due to a hamstring injury, but he entered play Wednesday batting .340/.413/.557 in 223 plate appearances. Every organization in MLB will have interest, though all of them will be limited to some degree by international spending regulations and some can be ruled out altogether due to international market penalties. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports called the Rangers the "betting favorite" to sign Otani back in June.
Oct 4 - 10:15 AM

According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, Japanese pitching and hitting standout Shohei Otani has begun to interview player agents in preparation for a jump to MLB.

It was reported earlier this month that Otani will be posted for MLB teams this offseason. According to Heyman, Otani has been represented by a lawyer during early meetings with prominent agents who have traveled to Japan. The thought is that he could hold a second round of interviews soon, so the process is moving along. Otani is just 23 years old, so he'll be subject to MLB's international spending limit if he's posted. He's only made four starts for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters this year due to injury, but he's batting .333/.403/.554 with eight homers over 59 games.
Sep 26 - 2:21 PM

According to multiple reports out of Japan, outfielder and starting pitcher Shohei Otani will be posted this winter and play Major League Baseball in 2018.

Otani could maximize his earning potential by waiting one more season to get out from under MLB's international signing regulations, but it sounds like the 23-year-old is ready to make the move. He has batted .346/.416/.574 through 51 games this season for the Nippon Ham Fighters and the right-handed-thrower also boasts a 2.60 ERA and 10.4 K/9 in 522 1/3 career innings. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports identified the Rangers as the "betting favorite" to sign him back in June, but you can bet that just about every MLB team will make a play. Some can be ruled out due to their already-maxed-out international spending budgets.
Source: Yahoo Japan
Sep 13 - 12:23 AM

According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, 15 MLB teams have contacted the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters regarding scout seating for Shohei Otani's next start on Thursday.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is among the executives expected to make the trip. The 23-year-old Otani has only made one start this season due to injury, but he's batting .345/.409/.556 with five homers over 44 games. He's a unique talent and should draw heavy interest if he's posted this winter. He will be subject to MLB's international spending limit if it happens.
Aug 29 - 10:46 AM

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

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

Depth Charts

1B1Darin Ruf
Starting Pitcher
S1Anthony Ranaudo
Relief Pitcher
R1Arquimedes Caminero
2Spencer Patton
3Phil Klein