Ohtani is two elite players in one — a pitcher with a fastball clocked at 102.5 mph, and a hitter who last year hit .322 with 22 homers.
When the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters were trying to woo 18-year-old Shohei Ohtani to sign with them after high school, rather than skip the draft and go directly to an MLB organization as he was contemplating, they prepared a presentation to make their case.
It was entitled, “The Path to Realizing Shohei Ohtani’s Dream.”
It worked, and Ohtani eschewed MLB to begin his path to mythical status with the Fighters of the Japanese professional league. But now, a superstar at age 23 and the most intriguing baseball player in the world, Ohtani is ready to join MLB.
And almost every team — including the Mariners — is trying to figure out the best path to have Shohei Ohtani realize his dream with it, starting next season.
He is, really, two elite players in one — an ace right-handed pitcher whose fastball has been clocked at 102.5 mph, the fastest in the history of the Japanese League. And a powerful left-handed-hitting outfielder/designated hitter who wins Home Run Derbies and last year hit .322 with 22 homers (some of them in the 500-foot range) in just 323 at-bats.
Ohtani is big (6 feet 4, 225 pounds), strong and fast — nearly as swift as Ichiro from home to first. And, according to a slew of media reports this week, Ohtani is ready to leave the Fighters and submit to the…