Yoshinobu Yamamoto has been on the radar for major league teams for years. Now that he is expected to be posted by the Orix Buffaloes this offseason, teams are stepping up their interest.
According to Hoshi News, eight teams were in attendance to watch Yamamoto’s outing on Sunday. Yakyu Cosmopolitan reported that the Blue Jays, Padres, Phillies, and Red Sox are amongst those teams known to have been scouting his performance.
Yoshinobu Yamamoto gives stellar performance before MLB scouts
He certainly did not disappoint. Yamamoto fired his first complete game of the season, allowing one run on five hits, striking out 13 batters as he fired 125 pitches in the victory. On the year, Yamamoto has produced a 1.79 ERA and a 0.867 WHiP, striking out 94 batters with 12 walks. He has been a key part of why the Buffaloes are contending for the Pacific League title, battling the Chiba Lotte Marines and Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks.
Yamamoto is more than just his impressive statistics for the Buffaloes. He possesses an impressive arsenal, including a mid 90s fastball that can touch 98 MPH, a splitter that is considered a plus-plus offering, and an excellent curve. He is athletic and has a quick delivery to the plate, something that is all the more important with the renewed emphasis on the running game in the majors.
NPB success does not always translate stateside. The ball is different and the level of competition is higher. There have been plenty of pitchers who were stars in Japan that could not handle the majors. However, Yamamoto has the stuff to make that transition without issue. He could easily be an ace in the majors as well. That is certainly the hope for those interested teams.
Major league teams are hoping that Yoshinobu Yamamoto is made available this offseason. His dominance on Sunday showed why.