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Shohei Otani News and Notes: January 1, 2013

by on Jan.01, 2013 @ 11:45 pm, under NPB

Updates on Shohei Otani from January 1:

Otani would like to become a hitter like Atsunori Inaba and a pitcher like Yu Darvish.  Source: Sanspo 1/1/2013

The two awards Otani would like to win: as a hitter, an RBI title; as a pitcher, the Sawamura award.  Source: Sponichi 1/1/2013

The Fighters may be leaning toward starting Otani at Ni-gun spring camp because they want to avoid overworking him, both mentally and physically.  Source: Nikkan Sports 1/1/2013

Kuriyama on Otani: "He is the type that does not take practices lightly. ...  The scariest thing is getting hurt.  He is still experiencing growing pains.  We need to continually evaluate his physical condition in order to figure out when he can begin pushing himself even harder. ... The skills will come once his body is ready.  Source: Sponichi 1/1/2013

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Sponichi has posted an interview with Otani:

Your thoughts on the New Year.

I want to start fresh and get myself ready for things like spring camp and training.

Which position would you like to play?

I do not really have a preference.  The team's performance also needs to be considered.  I will leave it up [to the coaches] since I am sure they are taking my skills into consideration.

Pitcher and hitter.  Which do you have confidence in?

I have confidence in my hitting, but I could not accomplish everything I wanted to as a pitcher in high school.  I want to fill those holes.  I do not know which I will ultimately become better at.

How would you like your first year to end?

More than results, I want to make sure I am satisfied with how things went so that I can move on to the next season.

What will your first pitch as a pro be?

I would like to go with a fastball.

Source: Sponichi 1/1/2013

Sanspo has also posted bits of an interview.  Some quotes from the interview.

On his decision.

When they first selected me, there was zero chance of me signing with them.  After they gave me materials and after I had time to think, things started to change.  I felt awful about letting people down, like those that supported my [first] decision to play in the Majors and the other teams that respected my [first] choice.  But I was able to get over that after receiving letters and hearing people say they would wait for me in Hokkaido.

On being a hitter/pitcher.

I thought it would be impossible at first, but [Hideki] Kuriyama put a lot of thought into it.  I would like to do my best to make it into Ichi-gun games as both.

On the Rookie of the Year award.

I would like to win a Rookie of the Year award, but first I want to do my best to make it to Ichi-gun.  I am a rookie, so I think double-digit wins would be amazing.  As a hitter, I would like to try for every player's dream of hitting .300.

On marriage.

I think marriage can wait until I have built up my confidence to perform at Ichi-gun.  I like pleasant women that are into sports.

On making the national team at some point in the future.

I would like to play on the national team.  Only good players are selected, so getting selected would be an honor.  I would like to become that kind of a player.

Source: Sanspo 1/1/2013