Sorry about the title, but I couldn’t resist.
The Mets have signed 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.
Apparently, Kawasaki left Japan after finishing high school last year and came to the United States hoping to catch on with a major league team.
He eventually latched on with Julio Franco’s baseball academy where he has continued to develop as a starting pitcher.
Since joining Franco’s academy, Kawasaki has grown from 5′10, 145 lbs. to 6′1, 170 lbs.
The report also mentions that Kawasaki’s fastball tops out at 87 mph, and that he he has a curve and slider among his other pitches.
No details on the financials, and I haven’t seen any confirmation from the Mets, so we’ll keep an eye on it and see if we can track down some additional information this weekend.
The Mets have never really struck gold with these Japanese players, but who knows, maybe this one breaks the mold.