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Los Angeles Dodgers to meet with Shohei Otani camp first

by on Sep.20, 2012 @ 11:52 am, under High School

Shohei Otani updates from September 20, 2012:

  • The Los Angeles Dodgers will be/were the first to meet with Otani today.  They had actually scheduled an appointment to drop by Hanamaki Higashi before they knew that he was going to file his letter of intent.  Logan White (Assistant GM, Amateur and International Scouting), Acey Kohrogi (Executive Director, Asian Operations and Scouting), and Keiichi Kojima (scout) are expected to attend the meeting.  The Red Sox are also said to be interested.  Source: Nikkan Sports 9/20/2012
  • Dodgers could be front runners for Otani: scout Kojima has been keeping track of Otani since he was a first year high school student and assistant GM White was in Japan in March to watch him pitch in a practice game.  Otani will not attend the meeting.  Hanamaki Higashi manager Hiroshi Sasaki will represent him.  At least five MLB teams, including the Rangers and Red Sox are said to be interested.  Source: Sponichi 9/20/2012
  • Hanamaki manager Sasaki told reporters that he has not really spoken that much to Otani and that all he hopes for is that he is able to select the place where he wants to play the most.  Source: Sponichi 9/20/2012
  • Hamanaki manager Sasaki is looking for a team that can put together a solid long-term plan for Otani's development.  Source: Sponichi 9/20/2012
  • All twelve NPB are likely interested in Otani.  The Nippon Ham Fighters, Yokohama Bay Stars, and Rakuten Eagles may be at the top of the list.  Nippon Ham's Hideki Kuriyama has interviewed Otani a number of times in the past when he was a baseball analyst.  Five to six teams could ultimately select Otani as their first pick.  Source: Sponichi 9/20/2012
  • If an NPB team selects Otani during the upcoming draft, they will have exclusive negotiating rights with him until March 31, 2013.  Source: Sponichi 9/20/2012

Incidentally, Japan's other top high school prospect, Shintaro Fujinami, is not considering the Majors.  Source: Sponichi 9/20/2012

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UPDATE @ 5:42pm - Dodgers' assistant GM White spoke to reporters today and said, "I think he is one of the top players in the world.  We definitely want him."  Source: Daily Sports 9/20/2012

UPDATE @ 6:21pm - The Dodgers meeting with Hanamaki Higashi manager Sasaki lasted about an hour an forty minutes.  Assistant GM White was also quoted as saying, "I think he may have the same kind of potential [Clayton Kershaw has]."  Source: Sponichi 9/20/2012

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