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Royals sign 16-year-old Japanese pitcher out of junior high


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Um, 16 years old is not junior high, unless he is extremely dumb and has been held back a few years. 16 years old is at least senior first grade or most likely senior second grade.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I am really against teams hiring young adults before they finish parochial school.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

If he is 16 he probably graduated in March of this year and decided not to enter high school. So, he isn't a high school student. In Japan, after graduating from JHS, you are free to stop your education and start working. I bet he has been taking English lessons since he graduated JHS.

Japanese high school coaches are known for burning up their young pitches. I am sure the Royals will help him develop in away that is best for his future, plus I am sure he got a huge life changing signing bonus.

Nice to see that young elite Japanese athletes have more choices. I am sure that Japanese high school coaches and pro teams are not happy by this signing. A pro team will miss the chance to sell his rights to a Major league team in a few years.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Right on! I'd like to see more ballers go this way. Not everyone needs to go to high school - it's not compulsory here and I don't think it should be.

If you've got great potential and skill go with what you're good at. These extra three years honing his skills with minor/major leaguers/pro-coaches for the big leagues will most likely be much more beneficial than sitting in a high school classroom, he may not be interested in being in, and wasting 3 years with high school ballers.

Some bloom quickly and can and should be playing from their mid-late teens on. Baseball careers aren't long at all and these are precious years.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Nice, good for him! He signed a deal at 16. I was still playing with my playstation at that age.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Good on him. He won't have to risk his arm pitching on consecutive days for the pride of some high school that does not care about his long term health.

It sounds like some baseball high schools in Japan lead parents on with offers of scholarships and then renege on them if they can get better players. If an American pro team will treat young players better than that, it makes more sense to go to one. He can always go to Japanese SNS when older if it doesn't work out.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

SHS, sorry.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

hopefully, some of his contract will go towards a tutor. education is still important. still need a plan B.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Would really be a shame if he bypassed 6-10 years of military style bullying and senpai worship, right?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Good news, he avoids the arm-destroying Hell that is Koshien. Bad news, he’s playing for the Royals. I’m from Kansas City. The team is Gawd-awful and will be for at least another several years. I’m 48, not in great shape, and never played ball. I could play for this team right now. It’s that bad.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

At least he won't end up on the DL after three of four games in the majors following the ridiculous Japanese leagues and how they destroy the arms of young people. Plus they can avoid all the bogus contract payouts to teams in Japan just for bids.

4 ( +6 / -2 )


-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I have to agree with Econostats 100 %. This boy has made a huge mistake. Pro team at 16 is crazy idea, it must be his parents who needed the money and forced him. Do HS, be the major Koshien star, then either go to university in Japan (which is no study, just train and play every day!), then play for a Japanese pro team for 5 years. THEN go to MLB.

This is a really big error, he was too young to sign a contract so I hope there is “get out clause”. I am really disappointed about this.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Um, 16 years old is not junior high, unless he is extremely dumb and has been held back a few years. 16 years old is at least senior first grade or most likely senior second grade.

He graduated JHS in March when he was 15, normal for all students in Japan. He has been studying English since then and turned 16 in May. "Dumb" really is not that becoming when used by some people and probably reflects on them.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

6 feet? He should play basketball. The racialquotas are way too skewed in one direction right now anyway ;)=

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hope he gets good money and pension after only a few years. Doubt anyone can make it 20 years without injuries that prevent play.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good for the young player. Missing out on Koshien is certainly a disappointment for young Japanese players, but perhaps he'll have a longer, healthier pro career by bypassing the ridiculous and harmful over-use that is seemingly mandated by the traditional Japanese system for pitchers.

On the negative side, he needs to be prepared for the Japanese baseball establishment to shun him and exclude him from all their teams and activities, such as World Baseball Classic. Just ask Junichi Tazawa, who has been blackballed for years by Japan Baseball for going straight to the MLB without putting in his time in the domestic Japanese league first. "Fall in line and do what we tell you, or we disown you" is the message.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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