There’s little that Nippon Ham Fighters’ right-hander Shohei Otani can’t do.
He can pitch, as evidenced by three record-breaking pitches in high school and the Nippon Professional Baseball league and a monster 2016 season that saw a 1.86 ERA, 174 strikeouts, and a 3.87 K/BB in 140 innings.
He can hit, as demonstrated by a career .275/.347/.491 batting line, replete with 40 home runs and an .838 OPS in four seasons with the Fighters.
He can command top-tier salaries from MLB teams, according to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman, who estimates offers in the $200-300 million range when the 22-year-old makes his long-anticipated jump to the MLB circuit in the next year or two.
And, thanks to the unique structure of the Tokyo Dome, he can also make baseballs disappear.
During the seventh inning of an exhibition game against the Netherlands on Sunday, Otani muscled a fly ball that vanished among the paneled roof of the Tokyo Dome. A hush fell over the crowd as officials and teammates tried to figure out exactly where the ball was lodged, watching as Otani rounded the bases for a home run. After some deliberation, the umpires rescinded the scoring change and called the hit a ground-rule double.
The full video is below: