Did the Reds just sign their version of Shohei Ohtani?

Cincinnati Reds hat and glove
Cincinnati Reds hat and glove / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages

Is there a bigger star in all of baseball than Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher/ designated hitter Shohei Ohtani?

After being posted by the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters of the NPB in 2017, Ohtani lit the baseball world on fire when he made the move from playing baseball in Japan to playing professionally in the major leagues. Ohtani won the AL Rookie of the Year in 2018 and the AL MVP in 2021.

Shohei Ohtani is a once-in-a-generation-type of player that is not only a great hitter, but possesses Cy Young Award-winning stuff on the mound as well. Did the Cincinnati Reds just find their own version of Ohtani?

Did the Reds just sign their version of Shohei Ohtani?

According to Ben Badler of Baseball America, the Cincinnati Reds came to terms with another two-way player from overseas. Cincinnati inked a deal with a 17-year-old prospect from Taiwan named Lin Sheng-En

Sheng-En becomes the fourth Taiwanese player to have signed a contract with the Reds. Unfortunately, the other three didn't make it past High-A. Cincinnati's front office is hopeful that Sheng-En is different.

Sheng-En is a plus-plus runner, showing speed that will easily translate to the major league level. He produces good power for his age from the left side of the plate and has shown the ability to play in the infield and the outfield. Sheng-En as he is listed as a shortstop and a center fielder.

In addition to Lin Sheng-En's athletic ability in the field and his potential at the plate, he's also been clocked at, according to Badler, up to 99 mph on the mound. While the Reds signed the young star as a position player, might the club attempt to develop Sheng-Lin as a two-way player?


Again, Shohei Ohtani is a generational talent who dominated in Japan for five years before making the leap to the majors. Sheng-En is only 17 years old. But, the potential is there, should the Reds go down that road, to transform Sheng-En into a two-way player.

The closest thing the Cincinnati Reds have ever had to a two-way player was former pitcher Michael Lorenzen. Now a starter for the Detroit Tigers, Lorenzen showed some pop in limited appearances at the plate, was an effective reliever, and also saw time in the outfield.

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