The Next Yu Darvish?
One name that popped up on low level radar about two months ago was this fireball pitcher from Japan. After the U18 last month, he is squarely on the radar.
Shohei Otani currently sits 6’4″ and roughly 190 pounds. He is a tall, long limb frame that could add another inch or two. Nice lower half development, good development through the hips, wiry in upper torso. He throws 93-97 mph and can reach back to 99 mph. He flashes some good bite on his power curve/slider that sits in the mid 85-87 mph. He has the ability to pull on the string with good hand side fade on the change up 78-79 mph, shows some deception. Flashes a slow curve, 68-71 mph that gets a bit loopy at times, but promising offering that plays well off the power arsenal. Pitches backwards at times. Release is a bit inconsistent and point of emphasis for improvement, towards both command/control of entire arsenal. Very promising prospect that would be a surefire top pick in any draft.
Since he is Japanese and subject to Nippon Professional Baseball rules, he is a name that may not surface for another 6-8 years. He could be a litmus test for teams as the Dodgers, Red Sox(update), and other teams have been tracking him in August. It will be interesting to see how it unfolds. He could be someone that is talked about this winter, or run through the NPB posting system somewhere down the road, but he is a name that every baseball prospect fan should remember.