SAPPORO, Japan (AP) — Los Angeles Angels-bound Shohei Ohtani bid farewell to followers of his former Japanese membership on Monday as he units off to affix his new Main League Baseball staff.
The star pitcher and hitter wore an Angels jersey to his information convention. He opened with an introduction in English, saying: “Very long time, no see. I am Shohei Ohtani. Welcome to my press convention. Please get pleasure from.” The Sapporo Dome crowd erupted in laughter and applause.
For 5 seasons, Ohtani known as Sapporo dwelling, taking part in for the Nippon Ham Fighters. He intends to be a beginning pitcher and on a regular basis hitter with the Angels.
Ohtani, the reigning Pacific League MVP, threw one last ceremonial pitch from the Sapporo Dome mound.
He spurned different main league gives to affix two-time MVP Mike Trout and slugger Albert Pujols. The Angels are coming off their second consecutive shedding season and have not received a playoff recreation since 2009.
Ohtani was Three-2 with a Three.20 ERA whereas slowed by thigh and ankle accidents. However these numbers do not point out the potential for a pitcher whose fastball has topped 100 mph.
Scouts are extra divided on Ohtani’s skill to persistently hit big-league pitching. He hit .332 in 65 video games with eight homers and 31 RBIs final season, often unleashing the tape-measure blasts that captivated potential groups.
In 2016, Ohtani hit .322 with 22 dwelling runs and 67 RBIs in 104 video games. He additionally was 10-Four with a 1.86 ERA.
Ohtani will try and chart a uncommon profession path, the majors’ first common two-way participant in a long time. He has drawn quite a few, if unfair, comparisons to Babe Ruth, who excelled as a hitter and a pitcher early in his Corridor of Fame profession.
The Angels plan to make use of Ohtani as a hitter and a pitcher, and the 23-year-old participant mentioned Monday he’s assured he can reach each in a tougher setting.
Since becoming a member of the Angels this month, it was revealed that Ohtani injured the elbow of his pitching arm on the finish of this previous season. A leaked medical report despatched to all MLB golf equipment confirmed a Grade 1 sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament and he obtained a platelet-rich-plasma injection in October.
However the harm just isn’t thought of severe and Japanese media stories final week confirmed Ohtani taking batting observe and throwing lengthy toss.
The Angels have mentioned they don’t seem to be involved and so they anticipate Ohtani to be prepared for spring coaching.