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Dodgers willing to visit Hanamaki Higashi every day in order to woo Shohei Otani

by on Sep.21, 2012 @ 11:44 am, under High School

Shohei Otani updates from September 21, 2012:

  • If Otani decides to ignore the NPB draft, he will be penalized: he will be frozen out of the draft for three years upon returning to Japan.  If he asks all twelve NPB not to select him during the draft and he does not get selected, he will be frozen out for two years.  The rule was created after Junichi Tazawa asked all twelve NPB teams not to select him during the 2008 draft so that he could pursue his dreams of playing in the Majors.  Source: Sponichi 9/21/2012
  • He was spotted running with his teammates on Thursday.  He did not respond to reporters.  Source: Sponichi 9/21/2012
  • Otani could not attend Thursday's meeting with the Los Angeles Dodgers because it was in the middle of a school day.  Source: Sanspo 9/21/2012
  • He is expected to attend the next meeting they have with the Dodgers.  Source: Daily Sports 9/21/2012
  • Some things assistant GM Logan White said of Otani on Thursday: "He has enough potential to be a first pick in the draft in the US"; "He has good movement in his shoulder.  He has a good fastball and his off-speed pitches will improve."; "He is an interesting prospect as a hitter.  He is a two-way player. ... The key is which the player wants to pursue."; "[Kershaw] signed when he was eighteen and spent time at Single-A and Double-A before making his debut at twenty.  We believe Otani has similar potential."; "If we need to come here every day, we are prepared to do that."  The Dodgers spoke about their track-record with developing high school talent and their strong history with Japanese players.  They also mentioned that players they sign out of Asia get a personal interpreter for their first two years after joining the team.  Source: Sports Hochi 9/21/2012

Sanspo has posted portions of an informal Q&A that was given by Los Angeles Dodgers' assistant GM White after their meeting with Otani's manager.

About your meeting

Our scout [Keiichi] Kojima has been following Otani since his first year in high school.  I came to Japan in March and watched him pitch.  He is tall and will become bigger.  He has a good arm and his off-speed pitches will improve.  He is also interesting as a hitter.

Is he a player you want?

We are certainly planning to aggressively pursue a contract with him.  Our connections with Japan go back to the times [Peter] O'Malley was with the team.  With our new owner, we have become even more international.  The Dodgers need to find all the top players in the world.

You did not reveal any terms

When we sign players, we rank them.  Otani will be ranked high.  We believe he will become a Major Leaguer.

What now?

If we need to be here everyday, we are prepared to do that.  After all, when you get married with someone, you need to date them a few times.