TOKYO (AP) - High school pitcher Shohei Otani has decided to stay in Japan instead of pursuing a career in Major League Baseball.
Otani had said before November's draft he intended to go to the major leagues straight out of high school, where the 6-foot-4 right-hander's fastball was clocked at close to 100 mph.
Despite his intentions, the 18-year-old Otani was selected by the Nippon Ham Fighters in the first round. Following the draft, the Fighters waged an aggressive campaign to convince Otani to stay in Japan, with the team's hierarchy holding a series of meetings with Otani and his parents.
Otani announced Sunday he would play for the Fighters next season.

Top MLB Public Bets

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Pirates vs. Cardinals Prediction Will the Pirates pull off another upset in St. Louis tonight when they visit the Cardinals at 7:15PM ET?
Thumbnail Angels vs. Red Sox Prediction Will David Price quiet the Angels' bats tonight in Boston when the Red Sox host L.A. at 7:15PM ET?
Thumbnail Mets vs. Giants Prediction Will the Mets pull off the upset versus the Giants behind Jacob deGrom tonight at 7:15PM ET?
Thumbnail Brewers vs. Braves Prediction Is the total set too high in today's Brewers and Braves matchup at 4:10PM ET?
Thumbnail Twins vs. Indians Pick After being shutout on Friday, will the Cleveland Indians bounce back at the plate today against the Minnesota Twins at...

MLB Team Pages