Some fantasy baseball leagues are allowing players to draft Ohtani twice, once as a pitcher and once as a hitter, which could lead to Ohtani being on two different teams at the same time. What he emphasized, though, is that this template could be followed for other players.
As for differing with Yahoo Sports' approach, Becquey said that they'll do their thing and ESPN will do its thing, but Becquey added that he'd have "a really hard time thinking of a scenario where Ohtani should be two players".
Some of the mystery around how the two-way Japanese star will be used began to clear as manager Mike Scioscia said the Angels view Ohtani as a pitcher first - as part of a six-man rotation - and eventually a designated hitter second.
"I believe that we were very determined to allow Ohtani to be a single player because that's what the story is with Ohtani", Becquey went on to say. "He's a single player coming to Major League Baseball, and so we want our players to be able to draft him as a single player".
"In Ohtani's case, because on a day he's not pitching and you know he's hitting", Becquey said, "if you have an ability to put him in your lineup...then you can do that and it doesn't cost you". If he accumulates at least 10 games in the field at a position, he'll gain eligibility at that position.
"Basically, I'm not going to try to change anything from what I was doing in Japan", Ohtani said at a press conference.
One of the reasons for this either/or decision is for consistency in the treatment of all pitchers: Fantasy baseball traditionally does not credit a pitcher's hitting statistics in a game where he is slotted in as an active pitcher, because of how generally poor pitchers are with the bat.
"It's insane", fellow pitcher Matt Shoemaker said. The main attraction was Ohtani, who is already busy in his first major league spring training. "It's really exciting to have a player come in and create this buzz around baseball". The only downside for having Ohtani's primary position be a starting pitcher is that for leagues that use only batters, Ohtani will not be available in the player pool. ESPN also has the discretion to award additional such eligibility to players with an appropriate amount of such appearances, such as a large number of pinch-hitting appearances, a pitcher batting for himself in an AL game or a pitcher shifting into a field position for a portion of a game as a strategic matter.