Yu Darvish – Best Pitcher in Japan?

Yu Darvish – Best Pitcher in Japan?

Yu Darvish

At 21 years of age, Nippon Ham Fighters’ pitcher Yu Darvish may already be the best pitcher in Japan. Here is a bio on the young pitching phenom.

Yu Darvish

Yu Darvish is the right-handed ace of the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, 2006 Japan League Champions. He is a tall, thin thin man. He is 6’5″ yet only 185lbs. Darvish was born to an Iranian father and a Japanese mother. He participated in Koshien High school Baseball Tournament 4 times, and in one game was an active participant in combining to pitch a no-hitter. He was drafted No.1 by Nippon Ham Fighters out of Tohoku high school in 2004.

Darvish’s fastball tops out at 153kph (approximately 95mph). He has 5 secondary pitches: a sinker, slider, curve, changeup and spike curve (knuckle curve). Though his curveball is filthy, his command and control remain as areas that require further development. His fastball velocity could increase if he packs some weight onto his lanky frame.

Trey Hillman

Former Manager of Nippon Ham and current Manager of the Kansas City Royals, Trey Hillman, had this to say about Yu Darvish:

“How good do I think he can be? I think he can be the best in the world. He’s not there yet … but I think he can potentially pass a guy like Matsuzaka.”

Yu Darvish

Although only 21 years of age, Darvish has 3 years of professional experience. That means he can be posted in…. 7 years! Yay!

Yu Darvish Stats

In 2007 Yu won the Sawamura Award. The Sawamura Award is given to the top pitcher inJapanese Pro Baseball annually. He alsothrew a one-hitter against the Chiba Lotte Marines on July 6, 2007.

Darvish continued to shine in the postseason. He won game five of the Pacific League Climax Series to send the Fighters to the 2007 Japan Series over the Chiba Lotte Marines. In game one of the Series, he pitched a 4-hit, 1-run complete game and struck out 13, tying Kimiyasu Kudoh’s record for a 9-inning stint in the history of the Japan Series. In game five, Darvish gave up only one run in 7 innings, but lost to the Chunichi Dragons when Daisuke Yamai and Hitoki Iwase combined on the first perfect game in Japan Series history. Darvish’s 24 strikeouts were a record for a five-game Japan Series.
Look for Darvish to pitch for Japan in the upcoming preliminary rounds for the Beijing Olympics.

Yu DarvishYu Darvish

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Check out the curve at 1:35!!

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13 replies on “Yu Darvish – Best Pitcher in Japan?”
  1. says: Kman

    Darvish looks like a stud. One thing that stands out is his low HR total. We all know how the Japanese parks are conducive to HR and to only 9 in 2007 is a testament to his ability to keep hitters from squaring up.

    In 2007 he recorded 623 outs & allowed only 123 hits, which keep opponents under .200 on the season.

  2. says: Ed

    I think you’re wrong about the posting. He can’t be a free agent until after 9 years of service. He can be posted by his team at any time. So, IF he wanted to come to America and IF his team decided to make him available he could be in a big-league uniform next season. Not that it’s likely, but it could happen.

  3. says: Kman

    Good call, I said 7 instead of 9.

    I’ve yet to see any credible source show that posting can be done prior to 9 years of service.

  4. says: Hazmat77

    It’s reported elsewhere that he was born in 1986 …. that is 25 years ago, isn’t it? So is he 21 or 25?

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