The Texas Rangers are among several teams, including the Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers, that have scouted right-handed reliever Kyuji Fujikawa, who is about to receive free agency from Nippon Pro Baseball, reports Gerry Fraley of The Dallas Morning News:
The Texas Rangers are among several teams that have scouted right-handed reliever Kyuji Fujikawa, who is about to receive free agency from Nippon Pro Baseball.
Fujikawa has spent the past six seasons pitching for the Hanshin Tigers of the Japan Central League. Last year he maintained an ERA of 1.32 with 11.0 strikeouts per nine innings and 2.8 walks per nine innings with 24 saves over 48 appearances.
Over his six seasons with Hanshin, Fujikawa has posted an ERA and WHIP of 1.36 and 0.855 with a whopping 12.4 SO/9 and 2.3 BB/9. He’s averaged more than 33 saves per season.
Fraley notes that Fujikawa’s top pitches are his fastball and split-finger fastball. He apparently throws harder than fellow Japanese native Koji Uehara, whose fastball sits in the low 90’s. Because the 32-year-old Fujikawa is eligible for free agency he would not have to go through the posting process, meaning he could negotiate with all 30 major league teams.