Professional baseball started in Japan in 1920. The Greater Japan Tokyo Baseball Club was founded in 1934. It played a crucial role in the growth of the sport in the Asian country. Baseball teams from the U.S. like the New York Giants and Chicago White Sox have visited upcoming Japanese baseball teams over the years. Betway88 offers team lineups and schedules for Japanese baseball teams. The following are four top Japanese baseball players today.
1. Yoshihisa HiranoHirano plays as a pitcher for Seattle Mariners in the Major League Basketball (MLB). He also played for Arizona Diamondbacks of MLB and the Orix Buffaloes in the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) in the past. The right-handed pitcher has a three-quarters delivery. He can throw a forkball or a fastball at mid-90s.
Orix Buffaloes signed Hirano in its first-team selection during the 2005 NPB draft. He pitched 12 seasons in Japan with the team. Hirano has been a reliever since 2020. The pitcher made 40 saves in the 2014 NPB season and won the Best Middle Reliever trophy in 2011.
Arizona Diamondbacks signed Hirano on December 22, 2017, on a two-year contract worth $6 million. He was a favorite for many pundits who wager at Betway88 to make a profit. He made 73 appearances and finished the season with a 4-3 record. Hirano was part of the Japan National Team that played in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
2. Yusei KikuchiYusei was born on June 17, 1991. He is a pitcher for Seattle Mariners. The Japanese player played for Saitama Seibu Lions in the NPB Pacific League before he relocated to the United States. He signed a $1 million deal with Saitama Seibu Lions on November 20, 2009. The baseball player joined the Melbourne Aces in the Australian Baseball League (ABL). Seattle Mariners signed a four-year deal with him on January 2, 2019. He played his first MLN game on March 21, 2019, and stroked out 3.
3. Yu DarvishYu was born on August 16, 1986. He is a starting pitcher for Chicago Cubs in Major League Baseball. The Japanese pitcher played for Texas Rangers, Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters and Los Angeles Dodgers in the past. He played in the Japanese National Team in the 2009 World Baseball Classic and the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
4. Yoshitomo TsutsugoYoshitomo was born on November 26, 1991. He is a left fielder for Tampa Bay Rays in Major League Baseball. Also, he was the youngest fielder for the Yokohama DeNA Baystars of the Nippon Professional Baseball league. Yoshitomo made three consecutive multiple home run matches on July 22, 2016. He played in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
The Japanese fielder batted .364 and won the Pool B Most Valuable Player award. The Baseball Federation of Japan chose him for the 2018 MLB Japan All-Star Series. Even so, Yoshitomo didn't join Samurai Japan in the tournament.
Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) is the highest baseball division in Japan. Most Japanese citizens know it as Puro Yakyu. The league was formed in 1950. Yu Darvish, Yusei Kikuchi, and Yoshihisa Hirano are among the best Japanese baseball players today. The Japanese national baseball team is the top team globally according to the latest World Baseball Softball Confederation ranking. Baseball fans can bet on it at Betway88.