According to MLB Trade Rumors, 18-year old Shohei Otani will make a decision on Monday whether or not he pursues a baseball career first in Japan or the United States.
Haven’t heard of Otani? Probably because he’s only 18. His name started to circulate a bit in the states with the Yu Darvish signing, as Otani was pegged as another Darvish, sorta like 4 years ago when Darvish was pegged as the next Diasuke Matsuzaka.
Here’s the quick sheet on Otani, supported from this article:
He’s 6’4″, and you know, only 18 years old
His fastball, at least a year ago, is 90-95, but additional support here says it can go 99-100
He has a slider and a curveball
The author of the former link says Shohei has incredible talent, but its raw and wild…also, he’s 18 years old.
The short story, he’s a young, right handed pitcher, who already has a big frame, has a lot of talent, zip and movement, but also suffers from the drawbacks of being young, talented with zip and movement (lack of command), something that should come with age.
According the latter link, every team in Japan is scouting Otani and so far the Dodgers, Red Sox and Rangers have all scouted him. And for all of those teams, scouting Otani makes sense as they have all gone down this road before (Nimo, Matsuzaka, Darvish).
It does surprise me so far that only 3 teams in the states have been linked to him. Obviously more will immediately be linked to him if he decides on Monday to go to the states but if an American team signs Shohei now, they don’t have to pay the posting fee to a NPB club, thus saving millions (like millions millions as we have seen with the posting fees of Diasuke and Yu).
So, Monday will be an interesting day.