Analyzing Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s Statcast Performance

Yoshinobu Yamamoto is a name that Major League Baseball (MLB) fans should remember, as the Japanese superstar pitcher will be entering the league soon. Recently, he signed a 12-year, $325 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, even before his anticipated debut in the MLB, Yamamoto showcased his talent at the 2023 World Baseball Classic and left an impression, allowing fans and analysts to get an early glimpse of what he has to offer.

According to the Statcast tracking data from the WBC, Yamamoto’s fastball averaged over 95 mph, making it a fierce and powerful pitch. With an impressive velocity and a significant amount of run, it’s evident that his fastball is a noteworthy addition to his arsenal. Additionally, his fastball maintained an average of 11 inches of run, surprising many hitters with its speed and movement. This performance reminded some of the Blue Jays ace Kevin Gausman and the quality of his fastball in 2023. Moreover, fans should expect Yamamoto’s fastball to have even greater potential in the MLB, given his established capabilities in the Nippon Professional Baseball.

It’s the curveball that draws the most excitement on the field. The 25-year-old’s curveball shares similarities with pitchers like Clayton Kershaw, Max Fried, Adam Wainwright, and Yu Darvish, presenting a mid-to-upper 70s velocity, large vertical movement, and swooping break. A testament to its effectiveness is an instance when Yamamoto’s curveball stunned Joey Meneses during a WBC match. With a 77 mph curveball, he was able to drop it 65 inches and break it 14 inches, demonstrating its capability to strike out seasoned hitters.

When it comes to Yamamoto’s splitter, the Japanese pitcher’s skill really shines. During the WBC, seven of his 11 strikeouts came from splitters, making it a key component of his pitching style. Yamamoto’s splitter closely resembles Ohtani’s, showcasing similar velocity and movement that makes it a formidable and challenging pitch for hitters to face. Moreover, its effectiveness in the World Baseball Classic suggests that it has great potential, especially given its similarity to Ohtani’s splitter performance in the MLB.

Lastly, Yamamoto also has a fourth pitch – a hard slider/cutter hybrid. While it may not be as dominant as his splitter, it’s still an effective secondary offering, thanks to its high velocity for a non-primary fastball. It’s a pitch that keeps opposing batters on their toes and adds another dimension to the pitcher’s repertoire. When observing all of Yamamoto’s pitches, it’s evident that the right-hander has the strength and capability to be an impactful player in the Major Leagues. As fans eagerly await his debut, there’s great anticipation and curiosity to see how his pitching prowess will play out in the MLB. With a promising and diverse pitching style, it’s clear that Yamamoto has the potential to join the ranks of top MLB pitchers, like Senga, Ohtani, and others from NPB who have transitioned seamlessly into the league.


Hot News