Japanese high school pitcher plans to join major league team

Japanese high school pitcher plans to join major league team

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Japanese high school pitcher plans to join major league team

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TOKYO — Japanese high school pitcher Shohei Otani says he will stick to his plan of joining a team in Major League Baseball despite being selected in the first round of Japanese baseball's amateur draft.

Otani, who has thrown a fastball 99 and 100 mph, has been scouted by several teams, including the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox.

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The Nippon Ham Fighters, Yu Darvish's former team, chose Otani in the first round of Thursday's draft even though the 6-foot-4 right-hander had already said he plans to pursue a career in the major leagues.

The 18-year-old Otani says, "My feelings haven't changed. I'm grateful that they appreciate me, but it doesn't change my desire to play in America."

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Japanese high school pitcher plans to join major league team
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