Japanese Baseball Star Ōtani to Join LA Angels
Los Angeles, Dec. 8 (Jiji Press)—Japanese professional baseball star Ōtani Shōhei, 23, has decided to join the Los Angeles Angels, his agent announced Friday.
"While there has been much speculation about what would drive Shōhei's decision, what mattered to him most wasn't market size, time zone, or league, but that he felt a true bond with the Angels," Nez Balelo, Ōtani's agent, said in a statement.
"He sees this as the best environment to develop and reach the next level and attain his career goals," the statement added.
The Japanese two-way star, with both strong pitching and slugging skills, was posted on December 1 for transfer to a Major League team by the Hokkaidō Nippon Ham Fighters, a Japanese professional baseball club in the Pacific League. The deadline for him to pick a new team was December 22.
After graduating from Hanamaki Higashi High School in Iwate Prefecture, Ōtani joined the Fighters, based in Sapporo, in 2012.[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]