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Patrick Newman

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Pitcher to Pursue MLB Career

by Patrick Newman (Oct 23, 2009)

That got your attention, didn't it? This isn't about Kikuchi though.

Sanspo is reporting that Aomori University righty Shota Ichinoseki is looking to begin his pro career overseas. Ichinoseki is a rather obscure player; he didn't have a page on Draft Reports until this news broke, and even Deanna has never mentioned him. There's no indication that he appears on any NPB team's list of draft candidates. The 21 year-old student's fastball tops out at 144 kmph (90mph) and he compliments it five breaking pitches including a slider and a forkball.

Ichinoseki is apparently willing to consider playing independent league ball in the US, and is planning is to travel to Taiwan to work out in front of MLB personnel in November. Sanspo quoted him as saying, "playing overseas is something I can only do now. I want to do it while I can."

Lost in the furor over guys like Kikuchi and Junichi Tazawa is the fact that for some kids, playing overseas represents an opportunity that is otherwise not available. I hope Ichinoseki gets a chance to play somewhere.


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