Thursday, November 10, 2016
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Shohei Otani is what this current free-agent market lacks. He is a young, talented starter — already perceived as one of the best pitchers in the world — with the fringe benefit that he actually might be a superb hitter, as well.
But Otani is not expected to come to the American majors until next offseason, at which point the frenzy for his services likely will make him the first Japanese import to exceed $200 million.
“I actually think the guy might get a $300 million deal,” said a scout who has had multiple looks at the righty pitcher/lefty hitter. “That is how special a talent he is. He has power No. 1 starter stuff. He is throwing 99 [mph] in the eighth inning. His secondary stuff is unhittable. He is big and loose. His fastball is electric and his curve, cutter and split are all 70s [on the 20-80 scouting scale].
“And I think he is getting better as a hitter. I think an American hitting coach teaches him to turn on the ball more and he can be a 45-homer guy. He has Darryl Strawberry power. He is the face of a franchise. He is a big, handsome guy and when he plays baseball you cannot take your eyes off of him.”
I"m sold. Not sure if/when he’ll be posted but the Yankees are hopefully doing their due diligence.
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