Originally posted on UmpBump.com  |  Last updated 10/21/12
ESPN has a story up today that might well get lost in the shuffle of the playoffs, John Farrell and the three-way trade, but could end up having some fairly significant ramifications. Shohei Otani is an 18 year old pitcher currently playing for his Japanese high school team and it seems he’s regarded highly enough to be seen as a first round pick in their amateur draft which takes place next week. Unfortunately for the Japanese teams looking at picking him, it seems Otani would rather make an immediate leap to the U.S and Major League Baseball. If Otani goes ahead with his plan, he would be the first Japanese player to move to the U.S straight from school and would set a precedent that would likely be a serious concern for baseball in Japan. Although it would appear to be too late to stop Otani skipping the draft, tt would be no surprise to see Japanese clubs try to find a way to block players from following in his footsteps. It’s clearly no good for Japanese baseball to have their top talents bypass the draft and go straight to an MLB club. Whether any ruling would be legally enforceable is questionable, but even if something was put in place the next logical step for players wanting to go to America would be to make the move even younger and attend an American high school and try and become draft-eligible. Otani has apparently been scouted by major league teams and has the ability to hit 100 mph with his fastball so he’s clearly the sort of pitcher, however raw, that MLB teams would be interested in adding to their system. If he starts a trend of Japanese high schoolers skipping their domestic draft to move to the U.S it’s entirely possible we may see a wave of Japanese players making an impact in MLB. Getting them into MLB team’s minor league set ups as early as possible can only lead to better player development. The effect such a trend would have on Japanese baseball could, however, be devastating.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Best and worst from NBA All-Star Saturday night

WATCH: Klay Thompson can't go home unless he beats Steph Curry in 3-Point contest

Star players are hurting Houston Rockets

Emmitt Smith: Adrian Peterson only current player who could break rushing record

Coach K gets buzzer-beater win over Virginia for his birthday

Baylor approves new measures to deal with sexual assault

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Joe Mauer: Concussions blurred vision, affected hitting

LeBron James says Kevin Love-Celtics trade rumor is false

Michael Jordan gifts Kobe Bryant full set of Air Jordans

Bethune-Cookman football player killed at party

Former UFC heavyweight Kevin Randleman dead at 44

WATCH: Chelsea scores three goals in less than 20 minutes

LaVine, Gordon put on best NBA dunk contest in years

WATCH: Thompson beats teammate Curry in 3-point contest

NFL teams, players hand out awesome Valentines

Earl Campbell ‘disappointed’ in Johnny Manziel, wants to help

Big man Karl-Anthony Towns wins NBA skills challenge

MLB commish: Cubs will host All-Star Game in near future

WATCH: Memphis forward recreates Vince Carter's elbow dunk in game

Bruins forward is goal scoring machine after suspension

Michael Jordan gives Kobe Bryant complete set of Air Jordans

Drake has Kentucky edition of custom ‘OVO’ Air Jordan 8s

QUIZ: Name every NBA All-Star Game MVP

Watch rare footage of Stephen Curry from 2001-02 emerges

Check out this custom camouflage Oregon helmet

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker