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  • Writer's picturePhillip Radcliffe

It's 'Show Time' for Ohtani in the Big Leagues

(Japanese translation below)

Shohei Otani is a household name in Japan because he set various records in professional baseball in here. He has also become hugely successful in Major League Baseball in the U.S.

Otani was born in Iwate prefecture and went to Hanamaki Higashi high school. When he was a second year student, his team was good enough to participate at Koshien. In his third year, he broke the high school pitching speed record, but his team couldn’t participate at Koshien.

After that, he thought about joining a team in the MLB but was persuaded to stay in Japan by the coach of the Nippon Ham Fighters. He set various records with the Fighters. For example, baseball pitchers usually only pitch and don’t bat, but Otani is both pitcher and batter. In 2015, he won the best pitcher award.

Besides belting 22 homers he also won ten games as pitcher. This was a first in Japanese baseball. He is most famous for his pitching of speed of 165km per hour, which is also a record. After leaving the Fighters he signed with the Angels and wears jersey number 17.

Before the season began he was told by the Angels General Manager that he won’t be used as a pitcher and that he would have to start in the minor leagues. However, besides winning his first game as a pitcher, he also belted homers in three games as a designated hitter. He continued to play an active part for the Angles until he injured his pitching arm.

It was thought that he might have to undergo surgery, but he seems to be on the mend. He return to the lineup as a designated hitter but he won’t pitch again until his arm has fully recovered. His fans are waiting anxiously for his recovery.








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