18-year-old Japanese left-hander
Yusei Kikuchi, who was courted by eight MLB teams in recent weeks, announced his intentions to remain in Japan during a press conference on Sunday.
“I want to be given the chance to play in Japan. For now
I’m closing the door to the Majors, and after becoming a top pitcher in
Japan I want to take on the world.”
Kikuchi is expected to be the No. 1 selection in the Nippon
Professional Baseball draft on Oct. 29. Once a player joins a Japanese
team, he must play nine seasons before becoming a free agent. He could
always leave earlier, however much like Daisuke Matsuzaka, MLB teams
would have to bid for his services through a posting system.
Though it’s not known if MLB teams
even spoke terms with the young lefty, some believe he could have made
as much as 2009 first-round pick Tyler Matzek of the Rockies. Widely
regarded as the top high school lefty in the draft, Matzek signed for
UPDATE, 11:58 PM ET: Ross lost the no-hit bid with one out remaining in the eighth inning. Christian Walker worked a 2-0 count against the right-hander, the doubled to center field to break up the bid and score Deven Marrero. The Padres are tied 1-1 in the bottom of the eighth.
Padres right-hander Tyson Ross has pitched 7 1/3 innings of no-hit ball against the Diamondbacks in Friday’s game. He’s expended 124 pitches so far, the only blemish on his pitching line a handful of walks to Jarrod Dyson, Paul Goldschmidt and Nick Ahmed in the first, seventh and eighth innings, respectively.
Through just over seven innings, Ross whiffed 10 of 25 batters. He’s working with just one run of support: a mammoth 489-foot solo home run from Franchy Cordero in the third.
Should Ross complete the no-no, he’ll be the first pitcher to do so in the club’s 49-year history. The last major-league pitcher to record a no-hitter was Marlins right-hander Edinson Volquez, who held the Diamondbacks hitless last June.
We’ll keep you updated as the game progresses.