Photo/IllutrationShohei Otani of Sapporo-based Nippon-Ham Fighters is both an effective pitcher and batter. (Nobuhiro Shirai)

Shohei Otani, a baseball superstar who throws heat from the mound and poses a home run threat at the plate, will take a shot at the major leagues after this season, sources said Sept. 13.

The 23-year-old pitcher-slugger with the Nippon-Ham Fighters will go through the “posting system,” a player transfer system in which he can negotiate with any major league team that shows interest in signing him, they said.

At 193 centimeters tall, Otani would bring a wide range of skills to a future employer in North America.

Among his pitching arsenal is a fastball that tops 160 kph. He also bats with power and has often been used as the designated hitter in the lineup for the Pacific League team.

Over the past five years, Otani has notched 40 wins against 15 losses, and hit 47 home runs.

When Otani was a third-year student at Hanamaki-Higashi High School in Iwate Prefecture, he expressed a desire to play in the major leagues, without experiencing Nippon Professional Baseball.

However, the Fighters, which picked Otani in the first-round draft, promised to nurture his skills both as a pitcher and as a batter.

He joined the Sapporo-based team in 2013.

But his dream of playing in the big leagues never waned.

During contract-renewal negotiations after the end of the season last year, the team told the young star that it would respect his desire to transfer to the major leagues. That remark meant he could move to the major leagues through the posting system at any time.