|Yu Darvish: Premium Import||Tweet|
|Playing the Field|
|Written by Mike Schmidt|
|Monday, 28 November 2011 20:45|
The offseason is a critical time for fantasy owners to study the past performances of MLB players, look for trends and opportunities and determine who to target in spring drafts. However, for a variety of reasons, there are a number of individuals who are difficult to classify. So what are fantasy enthusiasts supposed to think about Japanese pitching sensation Yu Darvish?
A few major league teams have expressed at least a passing interest in the 25-year-old righthander, who is reportedly mulling over a potential move to the states and looking for about $50 million in exclusive negotiating rights. At this point in time, there is a lot of rumor and conjecture surrounding Darvish and his plans. But fantasy owners need to be aware of Darvish’s ability and be prepared to make an informed decision about acquiring his services in their respective leagues.
Project Prospect put together a rather comprehensive scouting report on Darvish, which serves to illustrate the extent of his talent and how ready he may be to contribute in fantasy leagues of all types and sizes.
According to the report, Darvish is a 6-foot-5 righthander who still has room to add weight and muscle to his frame. He features a four-seam fastball capable of reaching 93-95 miles per hour, a two-seam fastball, a cutter and three breaking balls. His fastball can sink and cut, and it has a little late movement to it. Two of those breaking pitches are forms of a slider and one is a curveball capable of traveling at speeds as low as 60 MPH.
Darvish has amassed a tremendous statistical profile in his four seasons with Nippon Ham in the Nippon Professional Baseball League, which is widely considered one of the better international leagues in the world. The talented righthander is 58-22 with a 1.81 earned run average in 98 starts. His durability cannot be questioned, as Darvish has not thrown less than 182 innings in those four seasons. Here are some other notable statistics for Darvish over his past four seasons:
With stats like those listed above, it is no surprise Darvish’s potential arrival in the United States is one of the most widely discussed topics of this offseason.
Three MLB teams have expressed interest in paying for Darvish’s services and adding him to their rotations as soon as 2012: the New York Yankees, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Washington Nationals. How would a pitcher of Darvish’s talent and experience fit in with each organization?
It’s unclear if Darvish will don an MLB uniform in 2012. According to John Paul Morosi of Fox Sports, the talented righthander is “more likely than not” going to sign with a major league team in 2012. However, there is no timetable for a decision. The expectation is Darvish’s squad will allow him to leave if he makes such a request. So MLB teams and fantasy owners wait.
However, what is known is Darvish is a very talented pitcher with the stuff to be a starter in the major leagues. It’s easy for astute fantasy enthusiasts to recall the failed MLB careers of other hyped international pitching prospects such as Kei Igawa and Hideki Irabu, as well as the inconsistent production provided by imports like Daisuke Matsuzaka and Byung-Hyun Kim.
While those concerns can’t be completely discounted, Darvish is at a prime age for a pitcher, has had unbelievable success in his young career and has tremendous stuff. If he signs, he should be ranked among the top 20-25 pitchers heading into 2012 drafts. He should be drafted in first 8-10 rounds of a mixed league draft, and even higher in single-league formats. Simply stated, buy into the hype. It’s warranted.
|Last Updated on Sunday, 22 April 2012 15:17|