Hisashi Iwakuma Wants To Join MLB

It seems that Japanese pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma wants to try and head to MLB via posting after the season, according to Jason Coskrey of the Japan Times (via Twitter).  According to Patrick Newman in a piece for Fangraphs, the Rakuten Eagles standout is the second best MLB pitching prospect in NPB.

The 29-year-old right-hander is described by Newman as a "fairly standard fastball/slider/forkball" pitcher who can reach 95 mph on the gun but typically stays around 90-91 mph.  Iwakuma has a rather lanky frame, standing at 6"3' and weighing just 170 pounds.

While Rakuten won't be eager to part with their star hurler, he is set to be eligible for international free agency after 2011.  Newman tells MLBTR that the club may find it more palatable to cash in on him rather than lose him for nothing.


Full Story | 30 Comments | Categories: Hisashi Iwakuma

30 Responses to Hisashi Iwakuma Wants To Join MLB Leave a Reply

  1. How many Japanese players have really translated their success and stardom from Japan to the USA?

    Only two I can think of: Matsui and Ichiro.

    Oh well, here’s to hoping for number three. Let’s go AVERAGE!

    • fpz 5 years ago

      Hiroki Kuroda has been doing well.

    • fpz 5 years ago

      Hiroki Kuroda has been doing well.

    • Nomo, Sasaki, Hasegawa, Saito, Okajima, Kuroda, Iwamura(early years), Iguchi(early years)

      Uehara, Takahashi, Igarashi doing well this year.

    • Nomo, Sasaki, Hasegawa, Saito, Okajima, Kuroda, Iwamura(early years), Iguchi(early years)

      Uehara, Takahashi, Igarashi doing well this year.

  2. How many Japanese players have really translated their success and stardom from Japan to the USA?

    Only two I can think of: Matsui and Ichiro.

    Oh well, here’s to hoping for number three. Let’s go AVERAGE!

  3. ZeroZeroZero 5 years ago

    ‘fairly standard’ coming from Japan = fairly unimpressive/bottom of the rotation on a team that doesnt really have a playoff shot in the MLB

    • Patrick Newman 5 years ago

      What I meant was ‘fair standard’ in terms of repertoire. He doesn’t throw a gazillion pitches like Darvish, or a purported gyroball, or a have a deceptive delivery.

  4. ZeroZeroZero 5 years ago

    ‘fairly standard’ coming from Japan = fairly unimpressive/bottom of the rotation on a team that doesnt really have a playoff shot in the MLB

  5. Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

    Iwakuma has a rather lanky frame, standing at 6″3′ and weighing just 170 pounds.

    Sounds like an injury waiting to happen.

    • Ian_Smell 5 years ago

      Gumby has a better body than him. Boom! Roasted.

    • Ian_Smell 5 years ago

      Gumby has a better body than him. Boom! Roasted.

    • Marcos 5 years ago

      True, but nothing a good ‘ol American diet can’t fix! Give the man a slab of bacon and a carton of eggs for the next 6 months and he sould be fine… hahaha

      • Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

        Just introduce him to Dunken Donuts and let nature run it’s course.

      • Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

        Just introduce him to Dunken Donuts and let nature run it’s course.

  6. How about MATSUZAKA?

  7. K-N 5 years ago

    Iwakuma is a very good pitcher, as he has shown in the WBC games. But he is injury-prone, even in the once-a-week rotation in the Japanese baseball. If he stay healthy and can endure the 5 men rotation in the MLB, he could be an effective pitcher.

  8. K-N 5 years ago

    Iwakuma is a very good pitcher, as he has shown in the WBC games. But he is injury-prone, even in the once-a-week rotation in the Japanese baseball. If he stay healthy and can endure the 5 men rotation in the MLB, he could be an effective pitcher.

  9. johnsilver 5 years ago

    Wonder if the FB is even 95mph tops and sits in 91-92mph range even. Seems several of the players from the NPB league are touted with much higher than they actually have, Matsuzaka for instance that was said to hit 98mph and sit in mid 90’s, yet rarely hits 95 and sits 91-93mph.

  10. The_Porcupine 5 years ago

    I expect the Orioles to try to sign him considering their efforts Uehara. I don’t know if it is a good move or not, but it would go with their recent philosophy. Then again Seattle needs to fill out their rotation and Jack Z. needs a PR win.

    • The_Porcupine 5 years ago

      I don’t think the Yanks or Red Sox will pursue him since their rotations are fairly full (since the Yanks will probably snag C. Lee). I could see the Mets trying to make a splash though.

      • Its possible the Mets go after him seeing as there are rumors out there that Takahashi could want to leave the Mets to become a starter on another team (yea not sure why seeing as he is way better in the bullpen then as a starter).

      • Bernaldo 5 years ago

        If the Mets want to “make a splash” they will have to do a lot better than signing Hisashi Iwakuma of the Rakuten Eagles! This signing is not a splash, in fact it is barely a ripple.

        • The_Porcupine 5 years ago

          By “splash” I meant more of a PR splash, than talent. For whatever reason, I good amount of publicity comes with signing Japanese players and the Mets are always battling the Yanks for headlines.

          • svenova 5 years ago

            If the guy can pitch sign him up but not at the expense of a young USA pitcher who may never get a shot becuase of that.

  11. He’s a very stable pitcher (he rarely has meltdowns like Dice-k) but to tell the truth he hasn’t been under massive scrutiny as Dice-K or Yu Darvish. These two were superstars from early high-school days and yet proved to be real deal.

  12. Generic Pokemon Sprite #3 from Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow.

  13. bleachercreature 5 years ago

    so than why are these players put on a pedestal? It sounds like NPB isn’t even the same type of baseball as the mlb, it’s like overpaying a softball player to play in the mlb. If things are this different how can anyone’s stats be reliable? I mean the AL and NL have slight differences that might effect some stats but thats pretty drastic

  14. bleachercreature 5 years ago

    so than why are these players put on a pedestal? It sounds like NPB isn’t even the same type of baseball as the mlb, it’s like overpaying a softball player to play in the mlb. If things are this different how can anyone’s stats be reliable? I mean the AL and NL have slight differences that might effect some stats but thats pretty drastic

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