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Rangers interested in Shohei Otani

The Texas Rangers are interested in Shohei Otani, an 18-year-old Japanese pitcher.

Cooper Neill

The Texas Rangers are interested in signing another Japanese pitcher, though with not even a fraction of Yu Darvish's fanfare.

According to an ESPN report, the Rangers are interested in signing Shohei Otani, an 18-year-old Japanese pitcher, who, unlike Darvish, is a free agent, and can sign with any team without going through the posting process.

Otani has also drawn interest from the Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees. Per the New York Daily News, Otani's fastball has been clocked at 100 mph, though he does not possess an arsenal as deep as Darvish's, nor does he have secondary pitches on par with Darvish's -- for now.

Once signed, it is believed that Otani will start in an organization's minor league system, unlike many Japanese pitchers. There is little-to-no reason to rush Otani, who is just 18 years old.

For those interested, NPB Tracker has a brief scouting report up on Otani.

It was a frustrating game to watch, as the raw quality of Otani's stuff was evident, but his command was non-existent. He featured a fastball ranging from about 145-152 km/h (90-95 mph), a slider around 132-136 km/h (82-84 mph) and curve around 125 km/h (77 mph). Everything had movement, and his wildness was of the effective variety until the 6th inning

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.