Ryota Igarashi - #18
1st Major League Season; been pitching in Japan since 2000
5'10" 190 pounds
Bats R/Throws R
The Good: Throws mid-90s (jointly holds the record for fastest pitch in Japan 98.75 MPH), and supposedly has a deadly splitter that is around 90 mph. Has had a sub 4.00 ERA for the past 9 years over in Japan (minus one year following Tommy John Surgery in 2007). Also mixes in a curve and/or a slider (has been working on those in spring training). Keith Law of ESPN rated him the 25th best free agent this off-season, and described his motion as having some deception and a "drop and drift without great forward momentum toward the plate."
The Bad: Has not been great in Spring Training, with 11 hits allowed, 5 walks and only 6 strikeouts in 9 innings. Granted it's a small sample size, but we have little other data to use.
Stats from Japan 2008: 43 2/3 innings, 35 hits, 6 walks, 42 Ks. .94 WHIP, 2.47 ERA
Stats from Japan 2009: 53 2/3 innings, 42 hits, 20 walks, 44 Ks, 1.16 WHIP, 3.19 ERA
Role: Potential 8th inning set-up man if he excels. Signed a 2-year deal for 3 million this off-season, and some international scouts think this could end up being a bargain.
Here is my original post re: Igarashi back in December
Igarashi Dec 15th