According to a statement from Shohei Ohtani’s representatives, RHP/OF Shohei Ohtani will sign with the Angels.
Ohtani is expected to be a righthanded starting pitcher and a lefthanded designated hitter for the Angels, who are expected to give him ample playing time in both roles.
During his senior year at Iwate Prefecture’s Hanamaki Higashi High School, Ohtani hoped to sign directly with a big league club, and because of that, only Nippon Ham risked a first-round draft pick on him. Ohtani has met with both the Angels and Mariners after narrowing his list of potential landing spots down to seven this past weekend. One reason is his fast arm and a four-seam fastball said to top out just over 100 mph. The Padres, unlike the other six finalists, could let Ohtani grow into his major league hitting shoes, rather than fret about what to do if he is hitting.200 in June. Whatever you call him, Japanese wunderkind Shohei Ohtani will be wearing the red and white jersey of the Los Angeles Angels.
Ohtani, however, decided to come to the majors as a 23-year-old about a year after baseball rules were changed to place any international player under 25 within the limits of international spending pools.
Yet his achievements were far greater than most, if not all, of the top Japanese stars to play on American MLB teams.
The Angels and Ohtani will have to get together to figure out a schedule that works. As a lefty at the dish, he hit.322/.416/.588 in 2016, when he was named MVP of the Japan Pacific League, then went.332/.403/.540 last season in limited action, due to injury. The Justin Upton trade worked, and they locked him in for the next five years. The grocery store does not sell the Los Angeles Times or the Los Angeles Daily News, but it does sell the Korea Times and the Chinese Daily News. The Giants struggled mightily last season (64-98) and has a lot of money invested in cornerstone players like Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, Hunter Pence and Johnny Cueto. Oh joined it in his 19th season.
MLS title game rematch looms • Toronto will host Seattle on Saturday in Major League Soccer’s championship game.
It’s unclear how the Angels will use Ohtani, though in all likelihood he will be in their rotation, and serve as the DH between starts.
The Cubs, the John Calipari of MLB.
In his 21 year career in Japan, from 1959 to 1980, Oh set and crushed records handily in the Japan Central League, and in Japanese Baseball overall.
Penn State (32-1) will face Michigan State in the regional final. For a Rockies team that returns much of its core but still has questions at catcher and in the bullpen, that may not be a bad thing at all.