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Can we get Otani without Darvish?

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  • Ohtani has an unusually graceful delivery for a pitcher his size. Like Darvish, he nearly always starts from the stretch position, and with no visible sign of strain, the baseball explodes out of his right hand. Last season, one of his fastballs was clocked at 102.5 mph, the fastest pitch recorded in Nippon Professional Baseball.

    Equally fluid and dynamic is his left-handed swing, which has produced several home runs of 500 feet or more. He kicks his front leg and turns his back enough that his uniform number is visible to the pitcher, then shifts his weight forward as he drives his bat through the strike zone with a slight uppercut.

    The technique is similar to that of many contact hitters from Japan — only they haven’t launched a ball through the open roof of the Tokyo Dome as Ohtani did in November as a member of Japan’s national team in a game against the Netherlands. If he had launched a similar ball at Dodger Stadium, it would have cleared the right-field pavilion and landed in the parking lot.

    He can run too. Scouts have timed Ohtani in as few as 3.8 seconds from the batter’s box to first base. That’s as quick as Billy Hamilton and Dee Gordon, two of the fastest players in the majors.

    Even now, as Japan’s most celebrated athlete, Ohtani continues to project the image of a “yakyu shonen,” a charming country boy with a warm smile who somehow hasn’t been changed by fame and fortune.

    He is polite and soft-spoken. With his height and wide shoulders, he towers over almost anyone he encounters, but his boyish facial features make him look younger than he is. If he has interests outside baseball (besides video games), they remain safely guarded secrets.

    Asked what he likes to do when he’s not playing baseball, he paused before replying, “Work out.”

    That’s not a put-on, according to people close to him. Ohtani is a fifth-year pro but continues to live in the Fighters’ dormitories, team spokesman Hisashi Hatanaka said.


    Ohtani doesn’t even have a driver’s license.


    Ohtani has asked his parents to oversee his finances, including his $2.4-million salary from the Fighters. His mother, hoping to develop his financial sense, deposits about $1,000 into Ohtani’s personal bank account every month.


    “But he barely touches it,” Sasaki said.

    And there was the possibility he wouldn’t succeed in the big leagues. “Money isn’t everything, but the financial situation will change completely in two years. Why don’t you wait?” the coach said.

    Ohtani listened intently and respectfully. Then, when it was his turn to speak, said: “I still want to go.”

    Sasaki smiled and shook his head as he recalled their talk.

    “That’s so like him,” he said. “He hasn’t changed.”

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-...htmlstory.html

    Comment


    • "Ohtani has asked his parents to oversee his finances, including his $2.4-million salary from the Fighters. His mother, hoping to develop his financial sense, deposits about $1,000 into Ohtani’s personal bank account every month. “But he barely touches it,” Sasaki said."

      Modest, polite, AND self-limiting? Wow ... the U.S. is going to be a culture shock.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by edcoffin View Post
        "Ohtani has asked his parents to oversee his finances, including his $2.4-million salary from the Fighters. His mother, hoping to develop his financial sense, deposits about $1,000 into Ohtani’s personal bank account every month. “But he barely touches it,” Sasaki said."

        Modest, polite, AND self-limiting? Wow ... the U.S. is going to be a culture shock.
        But the upside of that is the Rangers can build an environment for him that wouldn't be that much different than what he is doing now.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Kaisersoze View Post

          But the upside of that is the Rangers can build an environment for him that wouldn't be that much different than what he is doing now.
          In the absence of a team dorm, he can live in Chuck Morgan's PA booth.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by dannyboy8517 View Post

            In the absence of a team dorm, he can live in Chuck Morgan's PA booth.

            He need some space that is not for PR...... maybe their storage room.



            For a guy who got to do an awful lot of cool things in 2016, one of Shohei Otani’s favourite moments of the year may surprise you. After the Fighters won it all, the team boarded a plane and flew 6,000 kilometres to Honolulu for a celebratory vacation. For once, there was no pressure and no spotlight. No reporters on his tail. No cameras capturing his every move. For the first time in a long time, Otani could walk down a sidewalk as an ordinary person.

            “I didn’t feel my height,” Otani says. “It was so much more relaxed. I could walk around. I could do things. I can’t do that in Japan. Everywhere I go, everybody’s looking at me. I don’t enjoy it. That’s why I don’t go out—I don’t like it. In Hawaii, it was different.”

            http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb...ext-babe-ruth/

            Comment


            • Originally posted by edcoffin View Post
              Modest, polite, AND self-limiting? Wow ... the U.S. is going to be a culture shock.
              The Rangers could assign Josh Hamilton to be his accountability partner to help him assimilate.

              Comment


              • Sung Min Kim@sung_minkim
                Shohei Ohtani hitting 160 kmph (99.42 mph) on the pitch 101 of the night vs. Orix Buffaloes. #NPB


                If you want more proof that Otani would be the most desirable free agent on the market this winter, these GIFs from Wednesday’s game, via Sung Min Kim, should give you more than a clue.

                https://sports.yahoo.com/shohei-otan...171152974.html

                Comment


                • That could be the nastiest slider ever.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Flounder1 View Post
                    That could be the nastiest slider ever.
                    That forkball is nasty as well. I wonder if there could be some kind of closer/DH role for Otani, let him hit for 8 innings and then close. He sure as *blank* has closer stuff.

                    Comment


                    • Otani is interviewing agent but hasn’t sign one yet. Actually, Ham Fighters are doing most work for Otani (a kid who lives, eats and breathes baseball and doesn’t care about money) to find agent and prepare his move to leave Fighter and come to MLB (another thing you probably don’t see in US). Ham Fighters told Otani they would help him fulfill his MLB dream by preparing him be a better player. Otani waited till he helped Ham Fighters won the championship before move to MLB.

                      Otani will pick a team that he trusts.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Kaisersoze View Post

                        That forkball is nasty as well. I wonder if there could be some kind of closer/DH role for Otani, let him hit for 8 innings and then close. He sure as *blank* has closer stuff.
                        That’'s one thing I am thinking about (but not likely). If Otani wants to focusing on hitting in MLB first, he can pinch hit, pinch run, close or even late innings defensive replacement. He hasn’t play outfielder for some time but he used to be a good outfielder on both arm strength and glove work.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Kaisersoze View Post

                          That forkball is nasty as well. I wonder if there could be some kind of closer/DH role for Otani, let him hit for 8 innings and then close. He sure as *blank* has closer stuff.
                          Yea, he's not coming over to close games. That stuff is too nasty to "waste" in that role. I put it in quotes because he would be a dominant closer, but would have so much more value to a team as a stud TORP.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by saclare View Post

                            Yea, he's not coming over to close games. That stuff is too nasty to "waste" in that role. I put it in quotes because he would be a dominant closer, but would have so much more value to a team as a stud TORP.
                            Kaiser just wants him to play every day. Every five days he'll pitch in the rotation and bat. The other four he'll DH and close games. On his off-days, he'll act as GM and President in charge of Baseball Operations.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Flounder1 View Post

                              Kaiser just wants him to play every day. Every five days he'll pitch in the rotation and bat. The other four he'll DH and close games. On his off-days, he'll act as GM and President in charge of Baseball Operations.
                              Brilliant idea!! The Rangers sign him 3 millions for as a player and 20 millions for as an assistant GM.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Flounder1 View Post

                                Kaiser just wants him to play every day. Every five days he'll pitch in the rotation and bat. The other four he'll DH and close games. On his off-days, he'll act as GM and President in charge of Baseball Operations.
                                He would also run the Stadium Scoreboard from his cell phone.

                                And if Chuck Morgan is reading, you know I'm kidding and no one can replace you!

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