NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Japanese phenom Shohei Otani plans to go straight from high school to Major League Baseball.
And at 6-foot-4, the young right-hander’s fastball can reach 100 mph.
Sound good, Yankees fans?
“I think I will start in the minor leagues but I want to challenge in the majors,” Otani said of his decision to opt for MLB, according to The Associated Press. “It’s been my dream since entering high school.”
The Yankees, Red Sox and Rangers are among the teams interested in the 18-year-old starter, according to multiple reports.
Texas won the right to negotiate with Japanese sensation Yu Darvish last December. The Yankees’ reported bid of $20-25 million wasn’t even in the ballpark as the Rangers doled out a record-setting $51.7 million.
There will be no posting system for Otani since he would be opting out of the amateur draft on Thursday, bypassing the professional leagues in Japan, the New York Daily News reported.
But that doesn’t mean there won’t be a bidding war — he would go straight to free agency.
Otani is expected to go straight to the minor leagues if he does sign in the U.S. The aging Yankees could use depth with top pitching prospect Manny Banuelos recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Should the Yankees go hard after Otani? Be heard in the comments below!