The Next Tazawa?
It may be a little early to start this kind of talk, but here’s a new story to watch: Hosei University pitchers Kazuhito Futagami and Hisashi Takeuchi are attracting attention from MLB scouts, fueling speculation that this could turn into another MLB/NPB arms race. Futagami and Takeuchi are candidates to go in the first round of this year’s NPB draft.
Nikkan Sports reports that Rangers Pacific Rim scout Jim Colborn is planning on taking in a Hosei exhibition game, and SF Giants scout John Cox is planning a visit in March.The Dodgers and Mariners have already seen the pair. On the NPB side, Hiroshima, Orix, Lotte, and Rakuten are reportedly interested.
According to the wonderful Draft Report site, Takeuchi and Futagami both have power arsenals with fastballs that top out at about 150 kmph (93mph). Takeuchi can reach 153 kmph (95mph) and also has a slider and forkball. Futagami maxes out at about 150 kmph, and sits in the mid-140’s (90-ish) as a starter, but dials it up in relief. His featured breaking pitch is his slider. Here is some very low-quality video of Futagami and Takeuchi.