Shohei Otani is, without exception, the most famous non-MLB player on the planet (in reality, he’s probably even more famous than a lot of Major Leaguers).
Despite the vast uncertainty regarding his eventual arrival in the States, it appears that the chance of insert your favorite team here landing the home-run slugging ace-pitcher is too enticing for most MLB fans to forget. But if you think he’s popular here in America, how popular do you think he is in Japan? The answer, obviously, is ridiculously popular.
So popular, in fact, that the 22-year-old two-way player has earned more designated hitter All-Star Votes for the Pacific League than any other player … despite appearing in just EIGHT games this season.
The All-star voting in Nippon Professional Baseball are ongoing, and for Japanese phenom Shohei Otani, despite playing only just 8 games this regular season, and is currently in the DL after being sidelined for at least 6 weeks due to an injury (pulled biceps femoris muscle) back in April 8 in a game against the Orix Buffaloes, is leading Japan’s Pacific League in the designated hitter category in their all-star voting.
Also, did you catch that? Not only has Otani played in just eight games this season, he’s been on the disabled list for the last six weeks. Considering that the fan voting didn’t start until May 16 (over a month after he hit the DL) this is all especially silly.
I mean, after all, Otani has received more votes to serve as the Pacific League’s DH (27,805), than five of the 12 players who currently qualify for various positions on the team. That’s just lunacy. Beautiful, fan-driven lunacy.
But hey, I told you – this guy’s popular.