Shohei Otani hits the ball through the roof at the Tokyo Dome

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Japanese pitcher and outfielder Shohei Otani’s reputation as a power hitter continued to grow on Sunday after the 22-year-old hit a fly ball at the Tokyo Dome which never came down.

Japan were taking on Netherlands in an exhibition game in Tokyo when Otani hit a fly ball in the seventh innings which went through the roof of the Tokyo Dome, leaving teammates, opposing players, and umpires looking to the sky in search of the disappearing ball.

It should come as no surprise that Otani managed to cover all bases following his incredible strike.


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Due to the Tokyo Dome’s ground rules, Otani was awarded a double rather than what would have certainly been a home run in an open-air venue.

Whilst often regarded as one of the best pitchers in the world, Otani has begun to prove that his batting abilities are just as remarkable, with the 6ft 4" right-hander having hit 22 home runs for Japanese baseball team the Nippon Ham Fighters this season.

Japan went on to finish their four-game exhibition series against the Netherlands and Mexico with a 12-10 victory over the Dutch, acquiring a 3-1 record over the four matches.

The spotlight will now be on whether Otani makes a switch to Major League Baseball or remains with the Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan, with some believing that the young Japanese star could be the best two-way player since the legendary Babe Ruth due to his pitching ability along with his power hitting.

If Otani was to make the move to Major League Baseball one of the big questions surrounding the switch would be which role he would play, after showing such a wide range of versatility as a pitcher, outfielder, and designated hitter during his young career so far.

How do you think Otani would do in MLB? Which position would you like to see him play? Have YOUR say in the comments below.

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