Is it Otani or Ohtani? Agent clarifies spelling of Japanese two-way star's name

At some point this offseason, Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani will make the jump from Nippon Pro Baseball to Major League Baseball. His team, the Nippon Ham Fighters, have already announced they will post him for MLB clubs.

Right now, there are two big questions surrounding Ohtani. One, when will he be posted? No one is quite sure because MLB and NPB are currently haggling with the MLBPA over the posting system. The union is worried too much money will go to the Fighters and not enough will go to Ohtani.

And two, how do you spell his name? That's kinda important. Scour the internet and you'll see both Otani and Ohtani used regularly. And, technically, both are correct. As Daniel Brim of Dodgers Digest explained last year, there is no straight letter-for-letter translation because Shohei's name is a series of Japanese characters. The translation is based on the pronunciation.

Fortunately, we now have clarification. Shohei's representatives at CAA Sports confirmed to Greg Joyce of the New York Post that his name is Ohtani, not Otani.

There have been plenty of headlines hyping the two-way baseball player who will soon be posted by the Nippon-Ham Fighters this offseason, but most referred to him as Otani. Now, Ohtani's representatives at CAA have clarified the spelling.

The explanation is simple, according to CAA: That is what Ohtani wears on his jersey in Japan.

Simple enough, right? Ohtani it is. No more Otani. Here, for reference, is a photo of Ohtani playing in Japan:

Netherlands v Japan - International Friendly
It's Shohei Ohtani, not Shohei Otani. Getty

Ohtani hit .332/.403/.540 and struck out 29 batters in 25 1/3 innings this season. I look forward to watching Mr. Ohtani -- not Mr. Otani -- sock dingers and make hitters look foolish in the big leagues next season.

CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for MLBTradeRumors.com, FanGraphs.com, RotoAuthority.com,... Full Bio

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