Sports Japan's 'Babe Ruth' Shohei Otani wants to pitch in MLB next season

18:24  13 september  2017
18:24  13 september  2017 Source:   Sporting News

Why Shohei Otani has 150 million reasons to stay in Japan a bit longer

  Why Shohei Otani has 150 million reasons to stay in Japan a bit longer At 23, Shohei Otani is is subject to MLB's new signing-bonus limits for international players that could cost him some $152 million.Blame it on MLB's new international rules, according to The Associated Press.

Share: Shohei Otani is the best pitcher in Japanese baseball . He' s also the best hitter. Ruth gave up regular pitching after that, opting instead to write record books with his bat, but those two seasons still stand as the hallmark for MLB two-way excellence.

Shohei Otani is the Babe Ruth of Japan , and he could be coming to the major leagues next year. Is Shohei Ohtani MLB ' s next huge Japanese import? Quickly. Shohei Ohtani boasts a higher strikeout rate than Clayton Kershaw and better home run rate than Bryce Harper.

Shohei Otani © (Getty Images) Shohei Otani

Shohei Otani is known for many things in Japan, but he wants to expand his horizons to MLB and he wants to do it in 2018.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Otani has expressed interest in coming to the United States. The Chronicle also stated the Giants are scouting the phenom, but honestly, who isn't?

The 23-year-old has been a staple for the Nippon Ham Fighters since he was 18. In that time he has batted .286 with 47 home runs and 163 RBIs is 389 career games. He has also gone 39-15 as a pitcher with 601 strikeouts in 522 1/3 innings hence the comparisons to Babe Ruth in his ability both on the mound and at the plate.

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Shohei Otani is known for playing both the outfield and spending time as a starting pitcher in Japan all at the age of 23.

While the Major League Baseball season begins today in St. Petersburg, Florida, one of the sport’ s most intriguing prospects in decades is half a world away. Shohei Otani , a player with such an unusual set of skills that he invites comparisons to Babe Ruth , plays for the Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan .

Otani isn't eligible to be a free agent until after the 2021 season in Japan, so he'll need the Fighters' approval to negotiate with any MLB team. If he Fighters plan to post Otani after this season, he would be subject to the international bonus pool under the new MLB collective bargaining agreement.

Otani would have to wait until he's 25 years old to be exempt from the hard cap of the international bonus pool but it appears neither he or MLB clubs are going to wait that long.

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