We take you to Japan, where Shohei Otani of the Nippon Ham Fighters is about to uncork one of the nastiest slide-pieces you've ever beheld ... And the people say: Larduhmercy. If Allen Iverson's crossover were somehow made into a breaking ball, it would look like that, probably. Otani in this same game hit 101 mph with his fastball, so, yeah, he's got frontline stuff. On top of all that, he's an elite hitter at the plate. All of that tells you why Otani is so deeply coveted by MLB organizations (he's being heavily scouted right now) and why many observers put him on the short-list of best baseball players in the world. It's not certain when or if the Fighters will post Otani, thus making him a free agent. It could happen this coming winter or the next or, who knows, not at all. While MLB's new CBA makes it less lucrative for Japanese talents to make the stateside leap (said rules make it more likely that the 23-year-old Otani will wait until he's 25 to ask to be posted), proving oneself against the highest of high levels still carries a substantial appeal.
Shohei Otani is coveted by MLB teams and this filthy slider might explain why
CBS Sports | Sep 12