Fujinami – Good Enough for the Bigs?

After Friday night’s victory over the Hiroshima Carp, co-heroes Shintaro Fujinami and Seung-Hwan Oh were interviewed by the media. When asked about the team’s young ace, Oh speculated that Fujinami is the type of pitcher who could move on to the major leagues some day. The game commentators also reminded viewers that Fujinami is basically right where Yu Darvish was when he was twenty. (Incidentally, their physiques are similar: Fujinami is 197 cm/85 kg; Darvish is 196 cm/102 kg — but has had 7 extra years to put on muscle/bulk.) Here are their stat lines: Darvish’s include his first two seasons, while Fujinami’s are current to his last outing.

Player GP GS W L SV BS HLD CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
Fujinami 42 42 18 10 0 0 0 1 0 255.2 224 106 87 14 93 250 3.06 1.24
Darvish 39 38 17 10 0 0 1 5 3 244.0 225 92 85 19 113 167 3.14 1.39

Of course, Darvish would go on to dominate from his third year forward, never posting an ERA over 1.88 for his next five seasons in Japan. My understanding is that the Tigers have the right to keep Fujinami for several more years. So the question is, will Fujinami make it to Major League Baseball? If so, when? Readers, place your votes/bets!

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