Shohei Ohtani ... Father, Toru, played baseball for a semipro team sponsored by the local Mitsubishi plant in Ōshū, Japan...Mother, Kayoko, was a competitive badminton player ... In Dec. 2017, a limited edition Ohtani baseball card sold 17,323 copies in 24 hours, setting a new Topps Now record ... Featured in a segment on "60 Minutes" on CBS in 2017 ... Was on 28-man roster for Japan's team at 2017 World Baseball Classic, but withdrew due to an ankle injury ... Played for Japanese National Team in 2015 Premier 12...During start against eventual champion South Korea, carried a no-hitter into 7th inning...Named All-Star starting pitcher for the event ... Following 2014 season, selected to Japanese national team, Samurai Japan, and participated in All-Star Series against a team of Major League All-Stars...Was starting pitcher Nov. 18, 2014 at Sapporo Dome, opposing Angels teammate Matt Shoemaker, who started for MLB ... Wore jersey number 11 with Fighters, previously worn by Yu Darvish ... Attended Hanamaki Higashi High School in Iwate Prefecture...Participated in National High School Baseball Championship in 2011 and National High School Baseball Invitational Tournament in 2012 ... Favorite hitter is Hideki Matsui and favorite pitcher is Yu Darvish ... "Sho" from his given name comes from a soaring image of the military commander Minamotono Yoshitsune (1159- 1189), who is associated with the Ōshū and Hiraizumi areas, while "hei" comes from a reading of the first kanji character used in the name "Hiraizumi."
In fifth season with Nippon-Ham Fighters, posted career-high .332 batti ng average (67/202) ... Started All-Star Game for Pacific League as designated hitter ... Limited to 65 games at designated hitter and five starts as a pitcher due to an ankle injury ... Signed with Angels as international free agent, Dec. 9, 2017 ... Named by Baseball America as Angels' top prospect entering 2018 and is rated as #2 prospect in all of baseball ... Designated as the #1 prospect in all of baseball by MLB.com for the 2018 campaign.
Named Pacific League Most Valuable Player and helped lead Nippon-Ham Fighters to the Pacific League Championship ... Posted a career-best 1.86 ERA (140 IP - 29 ER)...Finished three innings pitched shy of qualifying for league leaders, and would have led Pacific League in ERA for second consecutive season if he qualified...Also registered 174 strikeouts (third most in league) in his 21 games (20 starts) on the mound ... Registered finest season at the plate, batting .322 (104/323) with 18 doubles, 22 home runs and 67 RBI in 104 total games, primarily as a designated hitter ... Honored with Best Nine Award as a pitcher and as a designated hitter ... Started at designated hitter for Pacific League in All-Star Game and earned MVP honors after going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI.
In third season with Nippon-Ham Fighters, was selected to start All-Star Game as a pitcher for second consecutive season ... Finished year leading Pacific League in wins (15), ERA (2.24), complete games (five) and shutouts (three)...Ranked second in league in strikeouts (196) ... Earned first Best Nine Award as top pitcher in Pacific League ... Finished third in MVP voti ng behind Yuki Yanagita and Shogo Akiyama...Was a finalist for the Sawamura Award, given annually to top pitcher in Pacifi c and Central Leagues ... Along with catcher, Shota Ono, earned Pacific League Battery Award.
With Nippon-Ham Fighters, became first Japanese player to reach double digits in both home runs (10) and wins (11) ... Became first pitcher drafted out of high school to notch two shutout victories within his first two years in NPB since Yu Darvish ... Was starting pitcher for Pacific League in All-Star Game and established record for fastest pitch (101 mph) thrown by a Japanese pitcher.
Made Pacific League debut at age 18 with Nippon-Ham Fighters Mar. 29, 2013 on Opening Day as a right fielder ... Became first NPB pitcher since Takao Kajimoto in 1963 to bat 3rd, 4th or 5th in the order and first rookie hurler to do so since Junzo Sekine in 1950 ... Voted by fans into All-Star Game ... Finished second in NPB Rookie of the Year Award voting, behind Takahiro Norimoto ... Led Fighters with 51 games played in right field and also made 11 starts as a pitcher ... Briefly missed time during year with a right ankle sprain and right cheekbone fracture.