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 23)
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

[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


[10/3/2017] The latest on Shohei Otani (October updates)

Shohei Otani threw thirty-three pitches in during pre-game practices on October 1. His next start will most likely come on October 4 against Orix at Sapporo Dome.

Source: Sponichi 10/2/2017

Otani is slated to start tomorrow’s game against the Orix Buffaloes at Sapporo Dome. The Fighters considered taking him off the active roster after the start, but are now planning to keep him with the Ichi-gun team because they want to keep him around for the Rakuten game on October 9.

Source: Sponichi 10/3/2017

[UPDATE 10/5 @ 12:28am]

Sixteen scouts/officials from eleven MLB teams were at Otani’s start against Orix at Sapporo Dome on October 4. The Dodgers’ Alex Anthopoulos was among the officials in attendance.

Source: Tokyo Sports 10/4/2017, Nikkan Sports 10/4/2017

[UPDATE 10/5 @ 9:25pm]

Eighteen scouts/officials from twelve MLB were were at Otani’s start on October 4. … TV ratings for the game in the Sapporo region were 31.5% and peaked at 38.2%. … Hideki Kuriyama decided to use Otani as a starting pitcher and bat him clean-up on the night before the game. Kuriyama was also prepared to use Otani only as a pitcher if there were any issues before the start of the game.

Source: Daily Sports 10/5/2017, Daily Sports 10/5/2017, Nikkan Sports 10/5/2017

[UPDATE 10/6 @ 2:03am]

The twelve MLB teams at Otani’s game on October: Reds, Athletics, Dodgers, Red Sox, Braves, Rangers, Phillies, Tigers, Pirates, Mariners, Diamondbacks, and Angels.

Source: Sanspo 10/5/2017

[UPDATE 10/9 @ 2:46am]

Otani is a question mark for the final game of the season due to general tightness in his body. Kuriyama told reporters if Otani is going to play, he wants it to be from the start of the game and not as a pinch-hitter.

Otani participated in practices at ZOZO Marine Field on October 8, but did not take any live batting practice.

Source: Daily Sports 10/8/2017, Tokyo Sports 10/8/2017

[UPDATE 10/11 @ 1:48am]

According to Sports Hochi, Otani is considering John Boggs as an agent. Other candidate might also include Scott Boras and the Wasserman Media Group.

Source: Sports Hochi 10/10/2017

[UPDATE 10/14 @ 12:26am]

The Fighters provided MLB teams with accurate information about Otani’s starts and inning limits.

Source: ZakZak 10/13/2017

See also:


[9/27/2017] Shohei Otani leaves game early

Shohei Otani started at designated hitter and batted third against the Orix Buffaloes at Kyocera Dome tonight. He grounded out to short in his first at bat in the first inning and was replaced by a pinch-hitter for his second at bat in the fourth inning.

The Fighters later announced that Otani was removed from the game as a precaution because he felt like he might develop a cramp in his left hamstring as he ran to first base in the first inning. Otani strained the same hamstring while playing the Buffaloes at Kyocera Dome earlier this year in April.

Source: Tokyo Sports 9/27/2017, Sponichi 9/27/2017, Daily Sports 9/27/2017, Sports Hochi 9/27/2017, Nikkan Sports 9/27/2017


[9/19/2017] Now you can have your very own Shohei Otani

The Nippon Ham Fighters are selling a life-size figure of Shohei Otani at their official team store, On-Deck. The figure is part of a grand re-opening sale. There is only one figure and it carries a price tag of 1,111,111 yen (based on Otani’s uniform number 11).

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/19/2017

[UPDATE 9/20 @ 9:51pm]

A Sapporo man in his sixties purchased the figure today before 6:00pm. He paid in cash. He plans to put it on display at his company.

Source: Sports Hochi 9/20/2017, Nikkan Sports 9/20/2017


[9/14/2017] Shohei Otani planning to have ankle surgery

The media learned on September 13 that Shohei Otani is expected to have surgery on his right ankle before the end of the year. The ankle will most likely require a month to three months for a full recovery. If he has the procedure in October, he might be ready to resume workouts in January. As mentioned elsewhere, the media also learned that there is a good chance he will ask the Nippon Ham Fighters to post him to the Majors during the upcoming off-season.

Source: Daily Sports 9/14/2017, Nikkan Sports 9/14/2017, Sponichi 9/14/2017, Sanspo 9/14/2017

See also