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Like a Modern Day Babe Ruth: Shohei Otani Named Best Pitcher AND Best DH

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Although he will almost certainly not be posted (made available to MLB teams) this winter, Shohei Otani continues to capture our attention from 6,000 miles away. If you’re still unfamiliar with the Japanese baseball phenomenon, I’d first like to congratulate you on waking up from your coma.

Then, I’d like to tell you what else you’ve missed

  1. The Cubs won the World Series,
  2. Donald Trump is president elect,
  3. There’s another Star Wars movie coming out, and
  4. Shohei Otani, the 22-year-old Japanese baseball legend, lead his league in both pitching and hitting, like some sort of modern day Babe Ruth.

He even crushed a baseball through The Tokyo Dome ceiling.

And, perhaps to the surprise of nobody, he’s made history once again.

 

Shohei Otani of the Nippon Ham Fighters was named to the Pacific League’s Best Nine (think All-Star) team, as both a pitcher and the designated hitter.


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Think about that.

After recording a 1.86 ERA with 174 strikeouts in just 140 innings, Otani beat out the Chiba Lotte Marines starter, Ayumu Ishikawa, by 42 votes. Then, thanks to a .322 batting average, 22 home runs, and a rule change specifically with him in mind, Otani beat out another Marine, Alfredo Despaigne, for the designated hitter job by an amazing 143 votes.

He will occupy two spots on the Pacific League’s Best Nine team. Indeed, the Ham Fighters led all PL teams with five Best Nine Selections, even though they only had four players actually make it. So if you haven’t jumped on board yet, it’s time to get moving. The Otani hype train has left the station, and you’re not going to want to miss this.

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Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami writes about MLB at Baseball Is Fun. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami.

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