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Red Sox Hope To Sign Tazawa

Japanese amateur pitcher Junichi Tazawa is one of the best young pitchers in Japan. He is projected to go very high in the Japanese baseball league draft and will likely be a top pitcher in the league by 2009 or 2010. His fastball reportedly registers at 97 mph, with room for growth, which he mixes with a nasty slider. The Orix Baseball team drafted Tazawa last year but he opted to play in the Industrial League, which has no rules about players signing with the MLB. The draft is not till October 30th and Red Sox GM Theo Epstein has given top international scout Jon Deeble the go ahead to sign him.

Other teams pursuing Tazawa include the Mets, Braves, and Rangers.