Takeo "Easy" Otomo is a Japanese professional baseball first baseman who plays for the Anchorage Aces in the Bull League's American Eagle League. He made his major-level debut in 2000 with the Nevada Speeders.
Otomo has been recognized several times for his baseball contributions, including being named to an All-Star team ten times, winning six Gold Crown Awards at three different positions, and a Most Valuable Player Award.
He is currently signed to a $19.8 million contract with Anchorage, which runs until the end of the 2019.
Nevada Speeders: 2000-2014
Otomo was selected in 1996 as an international free agent out of Japan at age 16, and signed to the Nevada Speeders organization for a $2 million signing bonus. By the following year, he was named the #16 prospect in the Bull League, and he joined the Speeders AAA affiliate, the Oakland Dukes. Otomo notably led the team in runs that year, with 22.
After three seasons as AAA-level, he had an unremarkable debut for Nevada, going 2-for-15 in 11 games. He split his time between Nevada and Oakland for the next two seasons, including the 2001 Bull Cup winning season for Nevada, before finally breaking into the Speeders roster more regularly by 2003.
By 2006 he was posting serious numbers, leading the AEL in RBIs that year with 85 and hitting a career high in home runs with 32. He also hit his first career Grand Slam on July 28, against the Denver Highlanders. The next year he improved his contact and hit .340, which still remains his career high batting average.
In 2009 he came close to a Triple Crown, and set the current Bull League record for homers at 41. He led the AEL in RBIs again with 98, and hit .309 (4th in AEL). He got his second and third career Grand Slams also, that year. He was easily named MVP for the AEL that year, after having come close in 2007 (finished 2nd in voting), and also led the AEL in runs, and slugging percentage.
He continued to earn accolades for his successes with Nevada until 2014, when he declined his contract option and left the team for free agency.
Montreal Metros: 2015
Otomo signed to the Montreal Metros during the off-season, inking a 2-year, $14.6 million deal that brought him to the Lake League. Otomo would turn 35 before the 2015 season began. He started the season off hot, collecting a Batter of the Month award for June, and going 5-for-6 against the Chicoutimi Cinquantes in a July 23 game. On August 1, he collected his 1,000th career hit. Just over three weeks later, in the final days of the season, he suffered a strained hip muscle that saw him end the season early. In September, he declined his second year option and headed back to free agency, having accomplished a trip to the All-Star Game as a Lake League player, and his first Gold Crown Award as a DH.
Calgary Inferno: 2016
The Calgary Inferno signed Otomo to a 2-year deal worth $32 million, demonstrating that they were willing to take a chance on a solid offensive player despite the star being in the twilight of his career. His season went well, other than suffering two injuries that kept him to playing just 63 games. He batted .307, and cranked in 18 homers and 54 RBIs. Calgary performed well, but Otomo missed much of the playoffs, coming back in time to see the Inferno fall to the Ohio Oxen in the Bull Cup finals.
Anchorage Aces: 2017
Otomo again opted out of his second year, then signed with the Anchorage Aces in November 2016 for an impressive 3-year, $56.2 million deal. He was voted to the AEL All-Star team with the Aces, the 11th appearance in the mid-summer classic of his career.
Career Batting Stats
As of July 24, 2017