Shohei Otani is a baseball crushing, fire throwing, superstar pitcher and designated hitter, playing for Japan’s Nippon Ham Fighters. This season, Otani put up a 1.86 ERA with 174 strikeouts in 140 innings, along with throwing the fastest pitch in NPB at roughly 102 mph. Along with being an excellent pitcher, he is just as good as a hitter. Otani hit .322 with 22 home runs and 67 RBI. He was also the winner of the Home Run Derby in July. 2016 was also the second year he won 10 games and hit 10 home runs. This is an amazing accomplishment considering no MLB pitcher has ever hit more than 9 home runs in a season.
In the Pacific league’s Best Nine team voting, Otani received 111 votes at pitcher, beating out the Chiba Lotte Marines’ Ayumu Ishikawa, who was second with 69. Otani also prevailed over second-place finisher Alfredo Despaigne who received 47 votes, with 190 votes. He is now the first player in the NPB to ever win first place as a pitcher and as a DH. We received the results of the voting on November 23, 2016.
Shohei Otani led the Fighters to their first pennant since 2012 and first series title since 2006. The Fighters overcame being 11 1/2 games behind, with an amazing season by Otani, to win it all after 10 years of not winning a championship.
Otani is showing interest in coming to America and playing in the MLB, and the 2016 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs, according to rumors, are willing to pay a huge sum of 300 million dollars to sign him, according to one article.
Will Shohei Otani become the next Babe Ruth with his amazing pitching and superb hitting? Or will he become the next Chad Mottola? No matter what, millions of baseball fans will be watching his journey to the Major Leagues, and we can’t wait.