Otani leaves Japan to join LA Angels

Highly-coveted Japanese baseball player Shohei Otani has finalised a move to the MLB with the Los Angeles Angels.

The pitcher-outfielder has been in discussions with several MLB outfit after being posted by the Nippon Ham Fighters at the start of December.

The likes of the San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers were chasing the 23-year-old, who boasts a 100mph-plus pitch and .286 with 48 HRs at the plate.

But he has decided joining the Angels is the best move for his first taste of baseball outside of Japan.

“Shohei is humbled and flattered by all the time and effort that so many teams put into their presentations and sincerely thanks them for their professionalism,” said agent Nez Balelo.

“In the end he felt a strong connection with the Angels and believes they can best help him reach his goals in Major League Baseball.

“While there has been much speculation about what would drive Shohei’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.

“He sees this as the best environment to develop and reach the next level and attain his career goals.”