looptid wrote:I'd be very wary of a 20 year old Japanese pitcher. Three man rotations are common in Japanese baseball, their workloads are way higher than their American counterparts, and their performance declines a lot sooner in their careers. Matsuzaka is a pretty good bet because he's already made it to his mid-20s without any significant arm problems (how long he continues to pitch well past age 30 will be interesting to see). Darvish looks awesome (playing in a very good Triple-A league at just 20 speaks volumes of any prospect), but I doubt his Japanese team takes it easy on him so he can have a better chance at a career in the States.
4 man rotations are more common than 3 man and I believe Nippon uses a 4 man presently. But Matsuzaka had a ton more pitches on his arm at 20 than Darvish. Matsuzaka's arm as a 17 year old likely saw more pitches than most major leaguers. But if we were to name top pitching prospects world wide, I think I'd have Darvish right behind Bailey & Hughes.
...Another pitcher who is already on the major league radar after his second season is Yu Darvish. The son of a Japanese mother and an Iranian father, the 6-foot-4, 20-year-old right-hander has superb command of an extreme assortment of pitches and a 94 mph fastball.
Although pitchers of Darvish's quality typically get overworked in Japan, Trey Hillman, his manager with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, will prevent that...ESPN.COM
Last edited by Havok1517 on Sun Jan 28, 2007 9:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.