Is it possible that the Cardinal brass may finally take another look at pitching phenom Shohei Otani? When we last looked GM John Mozeliak added that the Cardinals can’t totally ignore the Asian market. The GM’s answer came in response to a question about Japanese phenom Shohei Otani, who struck out 179 batters in 155 1/3 innings and threw 101 MPH as a pitcher, as well as hitting .274/.338/.505 as an outfielder for the Nippon Ham Fighters last season. Otani is probably many years away from playing in the US, if he ever does. Well I am beginning to think the Cardinals just might consider him again. At the age of 21 Otani could come to a young pitching staff as a dominant left handed pitcher that can also bat well for himself too.
When Otani finished high school in 2012, the Dodgers approached him. He told Japanese teams not to draft him because he intended to go straight to MLB. But the Dodgers saw Otani’s MLB future as a pitcher, while Nippon Ham — the only Japanese club that didn’t cede to Otani’s wish not to be drafted — offered him the chance to pitch and hit. So he chose to play for Fighters after they drafted him and gave him the same number (11) that Rangers ace Yu Darvish wore for the team until 2011.
“I had been both hitting and pitching for a long time, but I thought I had to pick one before I was drafted,” he said. “I never thought I could do both [as a pro]. But my team came up with an idea where I could try to do both, which made me very excited.”
I just hope the Cardinals will be successful in obtaining Otani