Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) Hanshin Tigers pitcher Fujinami Shintaro (29) will board a plane to the United States. Wearing an Oakland Athletics uniform, he is expected to face Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels, who was the “rival of the past.”

Local media such as ESPN announced on the 12th (Korean time) that Fujinami and Oakland had agreed to a one-year contract. Through the posting system (private competitive bidding). 스포츠토토

Fujinami, who is 197cm tall and has a sturdy physique that weighs close to 100kg, has been attracting attention as a super-sized pitcher since high school. Even after he joined the pro in 2013, he seemed to live up to his expectations with a fastball that exceeded 150 km per hour. From his first year with the Hanshin Tigers, he won 10 games with an earned run average in the 2-point range. In terms of performance in his debut season alone, he was better than Shohei Otani, who was born in 1994 and turned pro in the same year.

In 2015, with a career high record of 14 wins, 7 losses and an ERA of 2.40, Fujinami seemed to be walking on a solid road. He has fallen into a situation where he goes back and forth between the 2nd division by overdoing sand dunes. His last five years have seen him win just 12 first-team games. Shohei Ohtani, who has been considered a rival since childhood, has grown into a top-notch star in the major leagues after conquering the Japanese stage.

Oakland, where Fujinami will play, belongs to the American League West division. Coincidentally, it is the same district as Ohtani’s team, the Angels. If Fujinami settles into the starting rotation, the possibility of meeting Ohtani as a starter for each team as well as a pitching match cannot be ruled out.

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