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Though still in high school, Shohei Otani, the latest Japanese pitching phenom, is already being pursued by major league teams.
Japanese high school phenom Shohei Otani is being pursued by several major league teams, including the Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers and Baltimore Orioles, as well as Nippon Professional Baseball clubs, reports Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News:
Otani, 18, is trying to decide between a career in Nippon Professional Baseball or signing with a major-league club.
While he is only 18 years old, Otani is already 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds. His fastball consistently approaches 100 mph, making it no surprise that it’s listed as best pitch.
The Rangers, Red Sox and Dodgers have all met with Otani and representatives, while the Orioles have expressed interest in the right-hander. Texas, Boston and Los Angeles have all acquired international players, including Yu Darvish, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hiroki Kuroda, while Baltimore increased its focus on the foreign market when general manager Dan Duquette took over.
Because Otani is in high school and is still an amateur, a major league team would not have to go through the expensive posting process to negotiate with him.