Baseball fans who watch the international scene know the name Shohei Otani but now collectors have their shot at some American cardboard of the pitcher-slugger.
Topps has put him into its 2017 Bowman Mega Boxes that are only found at Target stores.
The right-hander is shown with Team Japan from the World Baseball Classic though he didn’t play in the event due to injury.
In five seasons with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters he’s hit .279 with 42 homers and 138 RBI in 860 at-bats (22 of those homers last season, though, helping fuel the hype). As a pitcher, he’s 39-13 with a 2.49 ERA and 595 strikeouts in 517 innings — much more dominating marks that are helping fuel his MLB potential.
This is, of course, his first American card and there’s likely more to come as Topps has WBC cards planned later in the cardboard calendar.
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