Shohei Otani, his parents, and Hanamaki Higashi manager Hiroshi Sasaki meeting with the Boston Red Sox started at 6pm and lasted about an hour and a half. He is expected to sit down with his family his family sometime this week and could come to a final decision some time early next week.
Some quotes from Otani:
My concerns were resolved.
My parents were worried about areas outside of baseball. I am glad I was able to ask.
MLB teams see player development over the long-term. Practices at the minor league level are important. That is something the manager and I both agree with.
I cannot make this decision based just on my feelings of wanting to go. But I think I have to make the final decision.
I was able to hear again just how great the environment is. I had worries in areas outside of baseball, like the language barrier, but those have been addressed. I was able to see the good in both and I am not sure [which I want to pick].
I think where I want to play is important. ... There is the relationship between Japan and the Majors, I also have to think about things like that.
I was able to ask about things outside of baseball, like language and food. My worries and my family's worries were addressed. I also heard about how in order to play for a long time, you need to think in the long-term and that involves going through the minor league system.
I cannot make this decision based on my own feelings alone. I am at fifty-fifty. I want to discuss this with my family, the manager, and others around me and make a decision as soon as possible since this can affect the draft and I do not want to create any problems for NPB teams.
Players I want to strive to become have also [gone to the Majors]. I now feel like I want to play in that kind of environment.
- There was talk about a personal interpreter, but the Boston scout told Otani that learning English was also part of turning pro. He was reportedly satisfied with the answer.
- The Red Sox were represented by Eddie Romero (Director of International Scouting) and Jon Deeble (Scouting Coordinator for the Pacific Rim).
- The Los Angeles Dodgers are considered the front-runners.