Shohei Otani has proven this season that he’s a talent unlike any other Japanese baseball has seen over the course of a full season. There are better hitters and better pitchers (though maybe not for long), but no one who can do both simultaneously as well as Otani has for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters this year. Considering just how well he’s done, that statement might stretch across the ocean to the major leagues as well.
Otani the hitter has a .283 average, 26 extra-base hits (including 10 home runs), 31 RBIs and a .869 on-base plus slugging percentage in 191 at-bats. Otani the pitcher is 10-4 with a 2.46 ERA in 21 starts and has struck out 162 in 139 innings.