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When it comes to Shohei Otani, the idea of him one day playing in the major leagues is often discussed with an assuredness that implies most believe a move to the majors is a matter of when, not if. Otani got that ball rolling himself by boldly declaring he was going to MLB straight out of high school, before being persuaded to remain in Japan and hone his skills with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters.

The young pitcher’s ability and skill suggest he’s MLB-caliber, the numbers he’s put up in his first two NPB seasons tell the same story, and he’s only getting better.

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