Japanese Phenom Shohei Otani Makes MLB Choice


But the Angels' newest worldwide star remains a viable option as both as a designated hitter as well as an important new part of the Angels' pitching rotation.

"While there has been much speculation about what would drive Shohei's decision, what mattered to him most wasn't market size, time zone or league but that he felt a true bond with the Angels", agent Nez Balelo said in a statement. "He sees this as the best environment to develop and reach the next level and attain his career goals".

Whatever you call him, Japanese wunderkind Shohei Ohtani will be wearing the red and white jersey of the Los Angeles Angels.

According to LA Times reporter Dylan Hernandez, Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani has made a decision regarding which Major League Baseball team he will sign with.

A Kyodo News reporter asked Ohtani to comment in front of the agent's office in Los Angeles, only to hear that there was "nothing" to say.

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There's no harm in Ohtani taking his time with this, since it's a major life choice and he's not even getting paid hundreds of millions of dollars as a cushion that would make him feel better if he makes the wrong choice.

The 23-year-old Japanese superstar picked the Angels over the Cubs, Giants, Dodgers, Padres, Mariners and Rangers - all of which made their own unique pitches. He has struck out 624 batters in his 543 innings and holds the record for the fastest pitch recorded in Japan at 165 kilometers per hour (102.5 miles per hour). He hit.332 in 65 games with eight homers and 31 RBIs.

Because he is only 23, Ohtani is subject to MLB's global hard cap.

With the decision out of the way, Ohtani can now return his focus to preparing to play in the major leagues.

The Angels have a total of $2.315 million in worldwide bonus pool money to spend on their contract offer to Ohtani after trading minor league outfielder Jacob Pearson to the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday for an extra $1 million worth of bonus pool money. Statements from New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman that Ohtani preferred a smaller market had fans in Seattle, San Francisco and San Diego buzzing, but in the end, he opted to sign with a team in the country's second-largest market. The Fighters then persuaded Ohtani and his family that their club could improve the player's chances of success in the majors. Because of limits on how much teams can pay global players under 25 years old, the 23-year-old Ohtani wil earn the major league minimum salary ($545,000) in 2018.