Mets to Sign Teenager
This one is about is about as under-the-radar as it gets — according to ChuSpo, the Mets have agreed to sign Japanese teenager Taiki Kawasaki to a minor league contract. Kawasaki is a 17 year-old left handed pitcher who had been training at Julio Franco’s baseball academy in Florida. The Osaka native left Japan after finishing junior high school in April 2008 with the hopes of catching on with an MLB organization. In his time in Franco’s academy, Kawasaki has grown from 177cm, 66kg (5’10, 145) to 185cm 77kg (6’1, 170), and added velocity to his fastball, which now averages around 140kmph (about 87mph). An older report mentions that Kawasaki has a slider and curve as well.
I couldn’t find any English info on this signing, but this ESPN Deportes article from last year mentions Kawasaki’s presence at Franco’s academy. Franco will reportedly travel to Japan in mid-October to officially announce the signing.