A reporter for a local U.S. media outlet was mildly surprised by the training regimen of a Japanese baseball “quadruple ace” trying to break into the major leagues.
Yoshinobu Yamamoto, the first pitcher in Japanese history to win the four major awards (wins, earned run average, strikeouts, and winning percentage) for three consecutive years, has attracted the attention of several Major League Baseball teams.
The San Francisco Giants, New York Yankees, and other prestigious teams are in the mix. But how did Yamamoto become such a sought-after player?
Jeff Passan, a reporter for ESPN in the United States, wrote on Tuesday (July 20), “There’s a way Yamamoto has become the most coveted free agent in baseball,” and looked at his training regimen. He was surprised by Yamamoto’s flexibility.
“He rolls out his yoga mat (when he’s ready). Then he bends his body backwards. He has the precision of an acrobat. He does a handstand and goes to the wall with the palms of his hands. After leaning against the wall, she can balance on one hand,” he marveled.
“None of these are typical training methods for pitchers. Most athletes do it, but not in baseball. It’s independent thinking, trying something different.”
Yamamoto is a pitcher with a career record of 70-29 with a 1.82 ERA in 172 games (897 innings) in Nippon Professional Baseball.
“Yamamoto is not only a great pitcher, but arguably the greatest pitcher in the history of Nippon Professional Baseball. He was the MVP for three consecutive years and won the Japanese equivalent of the Cy Young Award, the Sawamura Award, 온라인카지노 for three consecutive years,” the reporter wrote.
He won the Sawamura Award and the Pacific League MVP for three consecutive years. He is only the second player in history to win the Sawamura Award three years in a row and only the third player in history to win the MVP award three years in a row since Ichiro Suzuki (1994-1996).
A Pasan reporter said, “Yamamoto has become the top free agent in the major leagues. It is expected that (the deal) will be finalized, perhaps as early as this week.”
“At 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds, Yamamoto will be one of the smallest starting pitchers in the majors when he makes his debut next season,” the reporter continued, adding that “all of his training is confusing the baseball world.” Yamamoto is not known to train with weights.
Nevertheless, Yamamoto throws a fastball in the 150 kilometers per hour range.
“He throws a fastball that tops out at 99 mph (about 159 kilometers),” said Passan. Few pitchers can mix it with a splitter and a curveball.”
According to Jim Bowden of The Athletic, the San Francisco Giants and Boston Red Sox are reportedly preparing to spend more than $300 million (about 39 billion won) to sign Yamamoto. It will be interesting to see which team the Japanese national team pitcher will play for next year.