Los Angeles Dodgers in Hot Pursuit of Japanese Pitching Phenom Shohei Otani

Ned Colletti

Kirby Lee-US Presswire

Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said that the main focus he will look upon to improve the team this off-season will be in the pitching department. That includes both the starters along with the bullpen.

The Dodgers have begun that process as they are one of a few teams that are in hot pursuit of  highly-touted Japanese pitching prospect, Shohei Otani.

Otani, who is just 18 years of age, is being highly recruited by other teams, such as the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. He has expressed his desire to purse a career in the major leagues in the United States, as opposed to turning pro in Japan.

It would stand to figure that Otani would go to a big-market team with a city that is rich with Japanese culture. The Yankees and Red Sox also boast two current Japanese pitchers on their staff in Hiroki Kuroda for the Yankees and Daisuke Matsuzaka for the Red Sox.

That could be a key factor in where Otani chooses his destination.

The Dodgers, who have already pursued the foreign market with their signing of Cuban defector Yasiel Puig, are highly intrigued with the prospect of signing Otani.

Assistant general manager Logan White has gone on record claiming that Otani possesses the talent to be the number one overall pick in the Major League Baseball draft.

Otani, who stands 6 foot 4 and weighs 190 pounds, has a fastball that has been clocked at 100ph and a bundle of potential.

He is looking to follow in the footsteps of Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish along with the veterans Kuroda and Matsuzake.

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