Baseball - Baseball: Japan's Otani reportedly primed for Stateside move

AFP
Nippon Ham Fighters pitcher Shohei Otani, pictured in 2015, will have the opportunity to play Stateside between November and March when his team makes him available for bids from Major League Baseball teams (AFP Photo/)

Nippon Ham Fighters pitcher Shohei Otani, pictured in 2015, will have the opportunity to play Stateside between November and March when his team makes him available for bids from Major League Baseball teams

Nippon Ham Fighters pitcher Shohei Otani, pictured in 2015, will have the opportunity to play Stateside between November and March when his team makes him available for bids from Major League Baseball teams (AFP Photo/)

- Shohei Otani, a 23-year-old right-handed pitcher and left-handed hitter dubbed the Japanese Babe Ruth, is expected to head to Major League Baseball in 2018, US media reported. Otani hit .322 with 22 home runs and 67 runs-batted-in in 104 games and had a 1.86 earned run average and 174 strikeouts in 140 innings for the Nippon Ham Fighters last season. He missed two months early this season and a stretch in July and August with injuries to his ankle and thigh -- but he still has batted .346 with seven home runs and 28 RBIs in 51 games. On Tuesday, Otani pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings in just his third start of the season.


AFP

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