Japanese Fireballer Shintaro Fujinami Chooses His North American Home

The latest Japanese player to make the move to the big leagues is right-hander Shintaro Fujinami. After a decade with the Hanshin Tigers, Fujinami has come to an agreement to sign with the Oakland A's.

It's a one-year deal for the 28-year-old, who is now expected to join the A's starting rotation. 

Fujinami, in 10 seasons in the Nippon Professional Baseball league with the Tigers, had a 3.41 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP, while striking out 9.2 batters per nine innings. He did post a career-best 1.12 WHIP with a 2.77 ERA in 107 1/3 IP last season across the Central and Western Leagues.

He sits mid-90s-plus with his fastball, and has touched 101 mph. He was especially dominant in NPB from 2013-2016, but command issues have plagued him since then. He was especially wild in 2021, walking 6.3 batters per nine innings. Yikes. He did, however, get that under control this past year, cutting that number in half.