Otani, Shohei 大谷 翔平 (おおたに・しょうへい)
Nippon Ham Fighters | #11 | P
Born: 07/04/1994 (age 25)
Height: 193cm
Weight: 97kg
Bats: L
Throws: R
Blood Type: B
Hometown: Iwate
Draft: 2012, 1st Round
History: 花巻東高(甲)
Roster Changes: removed 09/30/2016, added 10/11/2016

[12/14/2018] Shohei Otani’s Rookie of the Year Award Stamp Set

The Japan Post announced that they will release a stamp set commemorating Shohei Otani’s Rookie of the Year Award season. The set will go on sale on December 17 (Mon) for 6,000 yen.

Set Contents

Source: Japan Post 12/11/2018


[5/15/2018] Shohei Otani Asics Signature Model Sets

Asics announced on May 15 that they will be releasing a set of signature model Shohei Otani gear. They began accepting advance orders through their online store on the same day.

Set information

Each set will be limited to seventeen units.

Source: Asics 5/15/2018, Store Page


[12/16/2017] Shohei Otani Farewell Press Conference on December 25

The Nippon Ham Fighters announced today that they will hold a farewell press conference for Shohei Otani at Sapporo Dome on December 25. Details are below:

December 25 (Mon), 18:00 – 18:30 (planned)
Gates will open at 17:00. North Gate 2 and South Gates 2 and 3.

Venue: Sapporo Dome field, special stage

Appearances by:

Admission: Free

Source: Nippon Ham 12/16/2017

[UPDATE 12/27 @ 10:13am]

About 13,000 fans attended Otani’s press conference at Sapporo Dome on December 25. Below are TV ratings for the press conference for the Hokkaido region:

Source: Sports Hochi 12/27/2017


[2017 Posting] Shohei Otani Rumors

Date Team Update
@ 12:42a
Otani had PRP therapy on his right elbow in October as a preventative measure. MLB teams were informed about the procedure. Yahoo Sports is reporting that Otani has a “damaged ulnar collateral ligament.” Tokyo Sports 12/13/2017, Sanspo 12/13/2017, Nikkan Sports 12/13/2017Sports Illustrated 12/11/2017Yaho Sports 12/13/2017
@ 11:16a
The Fighters are planning to hold a farewell press conference at Sapporo Dome for Otani next year in January. Sponichi 12/12/2017
@ 11:15a
Otani returned to Japan on December 12 and went back to his dorm at the Fighters Ni-gun facilities in Kamagaya. He will resume his rehab training until he heads back to the US for spring training. ZakZak 12/12/2017, Sponichi 12/12/2017
@ 10:53p
MLB Otani selected the Angels. MLB.com
@ 4:42a
Otani was posted on December 1 (US time). Teams will have until December 22 (US time) to sign him. MLB.com 12/1/2017Daily Sports 12/2/2017, Sponichi 12/2/2017
@ 2:24p
Otani flew out of Haneda Airport on the evening of November 29 and arrived in Los Angeles on November 30 (Japan time), most likely to meet with his agent ahead of his posting. He did not speak to the media before he climbed into a car waiting for him at the airport. Otani is traveling with a interpreter from the Fighters. ZakZak 11/30/2017, Tokyo Sports 11/30/2017, Sponichi 11/30/2017, Daily Sports 11/30/2017
@ 11:05p 
Otani is asking MLB clubs to: evaluate Otani as a two-way player, pitcher, or hitter; describe player development, medical and training philosophies and facilities; give information on major league, minor league, and spring training facilities; show how teams plan to help Otani adjust to the new culture; outline life after signing with teams; show the benefits of having Otani; provide characteristics of the team. Daily Sports 11/26/2017
@ 2:41a
The Nippon Ham Fighters are expected to post Otani on December 2. Sanspo 11/22/2017
@ 2:34a
According to Sanspo, sixteen MLB teams are currently interested in Otani. Sanspo 11/22/2017

See also:


[11/12/2017] Shohei Otani’s Press Conference on November 11

Shohei Otani held a press conference at the Japan National Press Club on November 11. Notes from various sources below:



[11/10/2017] Nippon Ham Fighters to post Shohei Otani

Hideki Kuriyama held a press conference at a hotel in Tokyo today and announced that he accepted Shohei Otani’s request to go to the Majors. Kuriyama and Fighters’ Representative Director and President Kenso Takeda met Otani earlier in the day and talked about his desire to play in the MLB next season. The Nippon Ham Fighters decided to accept his request and will help him go to the MLB by posting him this winter.

Source: Daily Sports 11/10/2017, Sponichi 11/10/2017

[UPDATE 11/10 @ 9:00pm]

Otani left for the hotel in Tokyo from the Ni-gun facilities in Kamagaya at around 1:00pm. His meeting with Kuriyama and Takeda lasted about thirty minutes. Otani was not at today’s press conference, but is scheduled to hold his own on November 11 at 11am in Tokyo.

Source: Sponichi 11/10/2017

See also:


[11/7/2017] Nez Balelo to represent Shohei Otani

Shohei Otani has apparently selected CAA Sports’ Nez Balelo as his agent.

Source: LA Times 11/6/2017, Rosenthal Tweet 11/6/2017Sponichi 11/7/2017, Daily Sports 11/7/2017

[UPDATE 11/7 @ 3:55pm]

When reporter asked Otani about the Balelo news, he said it was his decision and that his agent will handle negotiations.

Source: Tokyo Sports 11/7/2017, Nikkan Sports 11/7/2017, Daily Sports 11/7/2017

[UPDATE 11/8 @ 12:11am]

There was more to what Otani told reporters earlier today about Balelo. He said the agent was something he needed if he wanted to go “over there” (the Majors) and that this was the time for that decision. This was the first time Otani made any sort of real comment about the Majors this winter.

Source: Tokyo Sports 11/7/2017, Sports Hochi 11/7/2017, Daily Sports 11/7/2017, Sponichi 11/7/2017, Sanspo 11/7/2017, Nikkan Sports 11/7/2017

[UPDATE 11/8 @ 11:16pm]

Otani also spoke to a number of other agencies, including the Boras Corporation, Wasserman, and John Boggs, before he selected Balelo.

Source: Sponichi 11/8/2017

[UPDATE 11/10 @ 3:50am]

Otani could make an official announcement about wanting to try for the Majors this winter on November 11 (same as his uniform number).

Source: Sponichi 11/9/2017


[10/25/2017] Nippon Ham Fighters: The Golden Otani Bobblehead

The Nippon Ham Fighters announced on October 25 that as part of their celebrations for the grand re-opening of ON-DECK (team store), they will be giving away a golden Shohei Otani bobblehead to the first 100 customers that make purchases at the store of at least 30,000 yen, beginning on November 1 (Wed).

Note: these are the same bobbleheads they gave away with Golden Seat ticket holders during their Golden Friday promotion this year (May 25, 26).

Source: Nippon Ham Fighters 10/25/2017


[10/16/2017] Shohei Otani named WBSC’s 2015 Player of the Year

The World Baseball Softball Congress released their Annual Award Winners for 2014-2017.

Player of the Year

Year Baseball Player Softball Player
2017 Triston Casas (USA) Nathan Nukunuku (NZL)
2016 Loidel Chapelli (CUB) Jessica Moore (USA)
2015 Shohei Otani (JPN) Sean Cleary (CAN)
2014 Ayami Sato (JPN) Yukiko Ueno (JPN)

National Team Coach of the Year

Year Baseball Softball
2017 Andy Stankiewicz (USA) Mark Sorenson (NZL)
2016 Gerty Damián (CUB) Ken Eriksen (USA)
2015 In Sik Kim (KOR) John Stuart (CAN)
2014 Koichi Okura (JPN) Reika Utsugi (JPN)

Umpire of the Year

Year Baseball Softball
2017 Jorge Niebla (CUB) Scott McLaren (CAN)
2016 Edgar Estivison (PAN) Gianluca Magnani (ITA)
2015 Hua Wen Chi (TPE) Jose Chaparro (PUR)
2014 Maite Bullones (VEN) Hideko Okano (JPN)

National Fedration of the Year

Year Baseball Softball
2017 Nicaraguan Federation of Baseball (FENIBA) Botswana Softball Association/New Zealand Softball Association
2016 Mexican Baseball Federation (FEMEBE) USA Softball
2015 Hong Kong Baseball Association Softball Canada
2014 Czech Baseball Association Peruvian Federation of Softball (FDPS)

Source: WBSC 10/16/2017


[10/11/2017] Shohei Otani to have ankle surgery on October 12

The Nippon Ham Fighters announced on October 11 that Shohei Otani will have surgery on his right ankle to treat posterior ankle impingement syndrome at a hospital in Tokyo on October 12.

Source: Nippon Ham 10/11/2017Nikkan Sports 10/11/2017

[UPDATE 10/12 @ 3:10pm]

Otani will most likely need two to three months for a full recovery.

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/12/2017

[UPDATE 10/13 @ 12:03am]

Otani had his surgery on October 12. There were no complications. He will begin a rehab training program during a two- to three-week hospital stay. He is then expected to continue his training at the Kamagaya facilities.

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/12/2017

[UPDATE 10/19 @ 3:10pm]

Assuming no delays with Otani’s hospital post-op recovery, he could be discharged some time around October 26. His recovery has been going smoothly so far. He is slowly regaining mobility in his ankle. He might be able to get around without crutches by the time he leaves the hospitals.

Source: Sports Hochi 10/19/2017, Daily Sports 10/19/2017, Nikkan Sports 10/19/2017

[UPDATE 10/25 @ 3:53pm]

The Fighters announced today that Otani was released from the hospital. He will be a rehab program at the Kamagaya facilities. Otani will need two to three months for a full recovery.

Otani arrived at the Kamagaya facilities in a taxi at around 1:00pm and was able to get around without any assistance (no crutches).

Source: Sports Hochi 10/25/2017, Daily Sports 10/25/2017, Sponichi 10/25/2017, Nikkan Sports 10/25/2017, Tokyo Sports 10/25/2017

[UPDATE 10/29 @ 1:04am]

Otani will have his first periodic examination on November 9. Assuming no issues, he will be allowed to do some jogging. After that, soft-toss hitting and playing catch. If there are no setbacks, he could resume hitting and pitching practices some time in December.

Source: Sanspo 10/28/2017

[UPDATE 10/31 @ 2:50pm]

Otani did some walking outdoors for the first time since his surgery. He walked back and forth between the foul poles three times.

Source: Sponichi 10/31/2017Daily Sports 10/31/2017, Sports Hochi 10/31/2017

[UPDATE 11/5 @ 12:16pm]

Otani added stairs to his rehab training on November 4.

Source: Daily Sports 11/5/2017

[UPDATE 11/10 @ 3:06am]

Otani was checked out at a hospital on Thursday morning. He got the green light to add more exercises to his workouts. In the afternoon, he jogged for about ten to fifteen minutes. He also threw some baseballs into a net: thirty while on one knee and sixteen while standing and without a step.

Source: Tokyo Sports 11/9/2017, Nikkan Sports 11/9/2017, Sports Hochi 11/9/2017, Daily Sports 11/9/2017

[UPDATE 11/13 @ 12:51am]

Otani started hitting off a tee in front of a mirror during practices on November 12. He swung the bat sixty times in about twenty-five minutes. He will continue to train at the Kamagaya facilities until January next year.

About 200 fans showed up at amagaya for a chance to see Otani a day after he held a press conference to announce that he wanted to go to the Majors.

Corrected batting practice type on 11/13 @ 1:49pm. Added additional information on 11/13 @ 4:27pm.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/12/2017, Sanspo 11/12/2017, Zak Zak 11/13/2017, Nikkan Sports 11/13/2017, Sanspo 11/13/2017

[UPDATE 11/21 @ 12:52am]

Otani started playing catch on November 20. He threw the ball at a distance of about fifteen meters.

Source: Sponichi 11/20/2017

[UPDATE 11/24 @ 4:19pm]

Otani worked out at an indoor training facility in Sapporo on November 23. After spending time on warm-ups, he threw into a net and played catch with a trainer at a distance of about thirty meters. It was the second time he played catch since he had surgery on his right ankle.

Source: Sanspo 11/24/2017

[UPDATE 11/26 @ 3:16am]

Otani tried running a fifty-meter dash (light running) during workouts on November 25. It was the first time he ran a fifty-meter since his surgery.

Source: Sanspo 11/25/2017

[UPDATE 11/26 @ 7:00pm]

Otani has already started throwing around an MLB baseball.

Source: Sanspo 11/26/2017

[UPDATE 12/13 @ 12:19am]

Otani returned to Japan on December 12 and immediately resumed his rehab training. His workouts include running, playing catch at forty to fifty meters, and, for the first time since his surgery, taking indoor batting practice against a pitching machine.

Source: Nikkan Sports 12/12/2017

[UPDATE 12/14 @ 7:19pm]

Otani took batting practice against a pitching machine throwing fastballs earlier today for the first time since his surgery. Up until today, he was hitting slow pitches. He also added cleats while playing catch (sixty meters) and running.

Added catch distance on 12/14 @ 10:41pm.

Source: Sponichi 12/14/2017, Daily Sports 12/14/2017

[UPDATE 12/17 @ 12:56am]

Otani added fielding practice on December 15. He also did some running, dashes, and hitting against a pitching machine. He did not do anything throwing because he played catch for three days straight (from December 12 until 14). Over 100 fans showed up at the facilities.

Otani is scheduled for a routine check-up on his ankle on December 19.

Source: Sponichi 12/15/2017, Sanspo 12/16/2017

[UPDATE 12/18 @ 1:26am]

Otani worked out for about two hours on December 16. He ran short distances with cleats for the first time since his surgery. He also played catch a maximum distance of around seventy meters. He spent roughly thirty minutes taking indoor batting practice against a pitching machine. Over 300 fans showed up on December 16. Two security guards were place between the team dormitory and Kamagaya Stadium.

Source: Sanspo 12/17/2017