Kenta Maeda The Next Japanese Sensation

Kenta Maeda is the new pitcher this offseason that seems to be this years Darvish or Tanaka. However there are screaming differences between those 2 pitchers and Maeda, Maeda doesn't have the typical workhorse build to him, hes 6 feet tall and saying he's 160LB is helping him out. The 26 year old right hander has pitched for the Hiroshima Carp for the past 7 seasons and has been a huge success.

2008      9-2         109.2IP               10 HR    3.20ERA              55 SO    1.25 WHIP              4.5 SO/9

2009      8-14     193.0IP               22HR     3.36ERA              147 SO  1.15 WHIP              6.9 SO/9

2010      15-8      215.2IP               15HR     2.21 ERA             174 SO  0.98 WHIP              7.3 SO/9

2011      10-12    216.0IP               14HR     2.46ERA              192 SO  1.02 WHIP              8.0 SO/9

2012      14-7      206.1IP               6HR       1.53 ERA             171 SO  0.99 WHIP              7.5 S0/9

2013      15-7      175.2IP               13 HR    2.10 ERA             158 SO  0.96 WHIP              8.1 SO/9

2014      11-9      187.0IP               12HR     2.60ERA              161 SO  1.09 WHIP              7.7 SO/9

As you can see from his 7 seasons in Japan, his strikeouts per 9 innings has grown over the first 3 years and has seen to be around the 8 strikeouts per 9 innings over the last 4 seasons. His WHIP has been outstanding as its been under 1.15 for 6 seasons straight, and his ERA has not surpassed 3 for 5 straight years. Maeda career ERA Is 2.44 with over 1,050 K's in just over 1,300 innings. Many scouts believe he has 3 above average pitches, his fastball, slider, and most are split between his sinker and changeup, he also posses a sneaky good curveball. Scouts has seen his 4 seam touch around 94-95 MPH and his curve drop under 70MPH.

It is not yet been decided if Hiroshima will post him yet for major league teams, with the new posting system rules being implemented last year most teams that have interest in him will have contract discussions with Maeda and his representatives. 5 teams have been very outspoken in their interest in signing him if he is made available, the D'backs, Astros, Yankees, Orioles, and Red Sox. Look for those 5 teams to make the most noise, however don't rule out the elusive "Mystery Team".