International notes: Ohtani looking sharp, Lazarito update, profiles of Gourriel brothers

Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani has been pitching in the States in recent weeks -- and looking good in the process. Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

The Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters of the Nippon Professional Baseball league have been training in Arizona for two weeks, which has provided domestic talent evaluators a chance to get a look at 21-year old phenom Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani -- you'll see it as "Otani" or "Ohtani," but the roster I got Wednesday had the latter -- threw two innings against the Korea Baseball Organization's Lotte Giants in front of a horde of scouts and executives. Most teams had multiple sets of eyes there, while the Blue Jays had at least four scouts in attendance (though to be fair, Toronto employs so many scouts and special assistants that there's probably one napping in that expensively furnished living room you never use right now).

Ohtani pitched just two innings in an outing earlier this week and struck out the side in the second, an inning which included the following sequence: 94 mph fastball with movement in the zone for a swinging strike one, a whiff-inducing, above-average 78 mph curveball down and away for strike two, and 97 on the black, at the knees, away for a called third strike.

Overall, Ohtani's fastball was clocked anywhere from 91 and 99 mph, featuring some two-seam sinking action at the low end of that spectrum.