(Photo Credits: AP Photo/Toru Takahashi)
The superstar deemed the Japanese Babe Ruth by people in America, Shohei Otani will come to America willing the MLB teams ratify it.
Dec 1. is the ratification day and then Otani will be posted and MLB teams will begin the all out free for all to sign Otani
So what is so special about Otani? Well for starters he is one of the rare hitter/pitcher combo players. That is what draws the nickname “Japanese Babe Ruth”, and his stats are proven of that nickname.
2016 was Otani’s best year in the Japan league for the Nipponham Fighters where he posted a stat line (just for hitting) .322 BA, .416 OBP, .588 SLG, 22 HR, 67 RBI, 7 SB (!), 54 BB and 98 SO. Pitching isn’t not stretch either as he went 10-4 with a 1.86 ERA, 4 CG, 89 H, 4 HR, 45 BB and 174 SO.
For comparison sake, Lets compare Otani’s 2016 to both AL and NL Cy Young award winners (remember that the Japanese league competition is not the same as the MLB)
- Scherzer: 20-7, 2.96 ERA, 1 CG, 165 H, 31 HR, 56 BB and 284 SO
- Porcello: 22-4, 3.15 ERA, 3 CG, 193 H, 23 HR, 32 BB and 189 SO
- Otani: 10-4, 1.86 ERA, 4 CG, 89 H, 4 HR, 45 BB and 174 SO
Obviously the talent difference is something that we have seen with players coming to the states to play in the MLB. We’ve seen players like Eric Thames come over from Korea and dominate but slow down, we’ve also seen Hyun Soo Kim come from Korea and struggle. But Masahiro Tanaka has came over from Japan and has been steadily one of the best pitchers for the Yankees right now.
One of the teams that is rumored to be a suitor for Otani is the New York Yankees, who currently employ Tanaka. The Rangers have also been reportedly interested in Otani, we will have to see where Otani goes after Dec. 1st.