Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Shohei Ohtani Question I'm Being Asked


One day this week I woke up to a comment on the blog being asked my opinion on likely the latest Japanese import to come to the states in Shohei Ohtani. I touched on my response a bit in the comments but I felt like I held back a little bit so I could make this post for all to read. If you don't read the comments section here I suggest that you do, it's loaded with great minds that don't all think the same and it results in a lot to think about, a lot of discussions and debate and truthfully it leads to a lot of inspiration to write posts for myself. These guys always have me thinking, much like they did on this Ohtani post. The question asked in the comments section was whether I would go after Ohtani and basically how it would affect Masahiro Tanaka on the team. Here is my response.

Ohtani is a pitcher and he's built like a pitcher at 6'4" but he has also been seen acting as a DH on the days he wasn't pitching in Japan. Ohtani offers five pitches that all have a ton of movement including a 100-MPH fastball that may be easily his best pitch in the arsenal. This is all important because we've been hearing about Ohtani for years not but we never had a true time period to expect his arrival in the states, now rumors and reports are saying that he could come to the Major Leagues as soon as the 2017 season. Just in time for the Yankees who need to get younger and may have a couple holes in their rotation. I don't believe in fate, do you?

Last  season Ohtani has posted a 15-5 record with a 2.24 ERA and 196 strikeouts in 160.2 innings pitched while two years ago Ohtani posted a 11-4 record with a 2.61 ERA with 10 home runs and 31 RBI as a 20-year old. Now that he has foregone his decision to jump straight from High School to the Major Leagues and has a few seasons under his belt Ohtani can be posted from November 1st to March 1st any season and this offseason may finally be the time it happens.

If Ohtani is posted this season I expect the Yankees to go all-in on him much like they did with Tanaka. I don't see Tanaka as a reason to get Ohtani, the whole easing the transition to the Majors to have a fellow country-mate on the team, or not a reason to get Ohtani, money, too many pitchers on the staff etc. I just think all 30 MLB teams will want Ohtani and only a select few will be able to meet the $20 million posting fee plus whatever contract it will take to get Ohtani to stop playing both ways and focus as a pitcher or an outfielder only in the states. Players like Ohtani, both in age and in terms of talent, don't hit free agency every day. Or any day anymore. For this reason and for so many other reasons New York needs to go all-in on him and they don't need to make any doubts about it.

Sign him now if you can. I know you can't but that's how much I want the guy. Sign him.

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