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Swallow Sato set for rookie flight

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Swallow Sato set for rookie flight

by Jim Allen (Aug 30, 2008)

The only thing left for young Swallow Yoshinori Sato is to get in the game, the rookie said here Friday.

The 18-year-old, whom five clubs went after in the first round of last autumn's high school draft, is expected to make his Central League debut today against the BayStars.

"I'm confident because of what I've done on the farm team," Sato said. "My form is not 100 percent, but it's not far below that. The only thing left is to get into a game and get results."

Sato, who hit 157 kph last summer pitching for Japan against a team of American high school players, was 8-5 in the Eastern League with a 4.17 ERA. The right-hander has struck out 71 and walked 43 in 77-2/3 innings.

"My best pitches come when I'm not worried about walking batters and I just bring it down the heart of the plate," he said. "I'm eager to see how my fastball works against the hitters up here.

"I finally made it to the big club. I'm not nervous now, but that will probably change once I get in the game."

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