Slugging ace pitcher Shohei Ohtani finished at the top of a new survey of Major League Baseball executives and scouts published on Saturday.
The survey, conducted by MLB.com Pipeline, sought to rank the top 100 prospects with major league teams. The 23-year-old Ohtani, who signed a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Angels in December, ranked first among right-handed pitchers, fourth among outfielders, and No. 1 overall.
Despite five years of elite experience with the Nippon Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball's Pacific League, Ohtani is -- by definition of MLB's current labor agreement -- an amateur, because he is under 25 with fewer than six years of professional experience. For those reasons, the article explained, he qualifies as a prospect.
The report described the right-handed-throwing, left-handed-hitting Ohtani as having three pitches well above the major league average (fastball, splitter and slider) with an average curve and change who has yet to be consistent.
As a hitter, he was described as "an above average runner" with "power to all fields."