There are two Japanese Professional Baseball (NPB) ace pitchers who will knock on the Major League after this season.
Orix Purpalos right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Yokohama DeNA Baystars left-hander Shota Imanaga. As the two pitchers continue to pitch well at the end of the season, interest is already growing, with major league teams looking to recruit them mentioned. Both pitchers will seek to join the major leagues according to the posting system.
MLB Network reporter John Paul Moroshi reported on the 8th (Korean time), ‘Shota Imanaga, who started as a starter in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) finals, is scheduled to be posted to the Major League after finishing this season, and is expected to receive a lot of attention. ‘ The report said, ‘The Yankees, Dodgers, and Cardinals are mentioned as potential teams to recruit him.’
Imanaga appeared in 19 games this season and recorded 7 wins, 3 losses, an ERA of 2.81, 21 walks, and 152 strikeouts in 128 innings. I’m doing it. At the WBC, he pitched in 3 games, including a start in the final against the United States, pitched 6 innings, allowed 2 runs, and struck out 7.
Imanaga, who debuted in 2016, has a career record of 64 wins, 49 losses, and an ERA of 3.19. He is a left-handed ace who is expected to advance to the major leagues early on thanks to his fastballs up to 150 km/h, various breaking balls such as cutters, sliders, splitters, and curves, and precise control. all.
However, it seems that more attention will be focused on Yamamoto than on Imanaga. Yamamoto has 14 wins, 5 losses, an ERA of 1.26, and 145 strikeouts in 20 games this season. In 169 career games, he has a record of 68 wins, 28 losses, a 1.84 ERA, 898 strikeouts in 876 innings, and a WHIP of 0.94.
Yamamoto was selected as the Pacific League MVP for two consecutive seasons in 2021 and 2022, winning four awards in multiple wins, ERA, strikeouts, and winning percentage. This season, he is leading the league in four categories, so he is likely to win four awards and become MVP for the third consecutive year.
In particular, the Yankees’ love for Yamamoto was highlighted starting from the WBC last March. The Yankees have a one-two punch in Gerrit Cole and Carlos Rodon, and in the case of Rodon, who joined this year, he spent more than half of his time in rehabilitation due to an injury and has continued to pitch erratically even after returning, which is a headache.
For this reason, American media outlets are rushing to report the news that Yankees general manager Brian Cashman visited Japan and watched Yamamoto pitching on the 9th. However, Yamamoto produced the second no-hitter of his career in the game against Chiba Lotte Marines held at Zojo Marine Stadium on this day, giving up 1 walk and 1 base on balls, striking out 8, and giving up no hits and no runs in 9 innings.메이저사이트
It is said that General Manager Cashman sat in the front row of the headquarters that day and watched Yamamoto’s pitch. Not only that, but Major League scouts and officials are said to have flocked to him, so it feels like the recruiting battle has already begun.
Yamamoto’s pitches, including fastballs approaching 100 mph, forkballs, cutters, and curves, are expected to be effective in the major leagues. The specs he accumulated at NPB are of a different class from other pitchers who entered the major leagues first. There has yet to be a pitcher who won four gold medals for three consecutive years and crossed the Pacific Ocean.
For this reason, it is highly likely that Yamamoto will enter the major league with the highest price among Asian players ever. The previous record was $155 million (about 207.2 billion won) over 7 years, which Masahiro Tanaka received when he joined the Yankees in 2014. Tanaka, who went through the posting process at the time, had a 7-year career with the Rakuten Golden Eagles with a record of 99 wins and 35 losses, an ERA of 2.30, 1,238 strikeouts, 1,315 innings, and a WHIP of 1.11. In particular, in 2013, just before joining the Yankees, he had the best season of all time with a phenomenal record of 24 wins, no losses, 1 save, and an ERA of 1.27, raising his value.
At the time of signing with the Yankees, Tanaka was also 25 years old, like Yamamoto is now. Still, Yamamoto’s four wins for three consecutive years and an ERA in the 1-point range are more impressive. He also has an unprecedented ERA of 1 and WHIP of 0 for his career.
Coincidentally, the Yankees general manager who recruited Tanaka 10 years ago was Cashman. It remains to be seen whether he will break the record for the highest price from Asia this time and recruit the best Japanese pitcher in existence.