Thursday, February 7, 2008

Yu Darvish Update

According to Sankei Sports - via Rotoworld - the Nippon Ham Fighters may be willing to post 21 year-old superstar starting pitcher Yu Darvish after the 2008 season, if the young fireballer wishes to pitch in America.
Darvish won't be eligible for free agency until 2014 and has previously said that he's not interested in coming to America, but the Fighters could let him leave before then given a posting fee that some feel could rise beyond the $51 million that the Red Sox paid to negotiate with Daisuke Matsuzaka. A Mariners scout told Sankei Sports that Darvish is as good or ahead of Matsuzaka at the same age and Darvish could become more interested in coming to America if he thrives in this summer's Olympics. Darvish went 15-5 with a 1.82 ERA and 210/49 K/BB ratio in 207 2/3 innings last season.
His curveball is a hammer and a true plus pitch already, but his fastball command could use a little work. However, Darvish appears to be far ahead of Matsuzaka at age 21 and in a couple of years could be a frontline starter in the big leagues. If you haven't heard of Darvish already, here is an excerpt from a piece I wrote on him a month ago:
Scouting Report:

Darvish throws a low-90s fastball (91-93 mph). At 21 years old, he is 6 foot 5 and under 180 lbs. which means he has the potential to add weight and thereby add velocity.

He throws a plus knuckle curveball along with a sinker, slider, and changeup.

His 2007 season, which earned him the Japanese version of the Cy Young was spectacular:

1.82 ERA, 26 starts, 207 innings pitched, 123 hits, 210 strikeouts, 49 walks and 12 complete games. That works out to a k/bb of 4.29, a batting average against of .170 while averaging 8 innings pitched per start.

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