Shintaro Fujinami (29, Baltimore), who became famous as a rival to Shohei Otani (29, LA Angels) during his high school days, was still a player living trapped in the past. He actually didn’t leave much behind in his professional career. So, some said it was surprising that he advanced to the major leagues ahead of this season.
Oakland, which couldn’t spend a lot of money but wanted a ‘fireballer’, signed a one-year contract with Fujinami for a total of $3.25 million. He was aiming to win the jackpot by recruiting at a low price. But it didn’t take long to see that the lottery ticket had ‘Kwang’ written on it. Literally, the ball was fast.
Although he entered the starting rotation for Oakland’s opening game, he was often dismissed early due to poor pitching. The speed was in the mid to late 150 km/h range, but the ball did not enter the strike zone. He was often frustrated with four consecutive throws. It seemed like he would be difficult to use as a starter or even in the bullpen. The rotation speed of less than 2,000 times per minute showed that there was a problem with his adaptation to the official ball.
Oakland, which removed Fujinami from its rotation, traded him to Baltimore and erased him from its power plan. It was quite surprising that Baltimore, which was leading the American League East division and seemed certain to advance to the postseason, recruited Fujinami. Nami Fuji was a pitcher whose earned run average reached 12.00 in his first two months. At the time of his recruitment, his average ERA was 8.57. It was no wonder there was a question mark: “What will he be used for?”
However, Baltimore paid attention to Fujinami’s stuff and calculated that with a few changes, he could become a pretty good bullpen resource. And after moving to Baltimore, Fujinami continued his steady pace and grew into a major force in the team’s bullpen. Just two months ago, the player who was ridiculed as being “going back to Japan after this season” has made a remarkable turnaround into a player who can play an important role in the postseason.먹튀검증
After moving to Baltimore, Fujinami appeared in 21 games and recorded 1 win, 2 saves, and 1 hold, with an ERA of 4.50. He doesn’t have excellent grades, but he doesn’t have very bad grades either. His pitch count per inning reached 18.16 during his time in Oakland, but dropped to 15.68 in Baltimore. The number of walks also decreased from 5.47 per nine innings to 3.68, and as a result, the number of walks allowed per inning (WHIP) plummeted from 1.66 to 1.09. After his transfer, his hitting percentage of 0.190 and WHIP of 1.09 are pretty good results.
Local media also praised Fujinami’s pitching. The ‘Baltimore Sun’, the largest regional media outlet, said after the game against the LA Angels on the 6th (Korean time) when Fujinami recorded his second save of the season, ‘His lightning-fast pitching is an attractive option for the big stage. “I don’t know if he can gain trust yet (due to his limited appearances in close games), but Fujinami has the ability to become a top-class bullpen in Baltimore,” he praised.
In fact, Fujinami’s fastball stuff is among the top in the major leagues. His average speed is a whopping 98.4 miles (158.4 km). He pitches hard out of the bullpen, so he hits 100 mph quite often. It is noticeable that the number of revolutions continues to rise. The average is now over 2,000, with recent rotations being 200 to 300 better than at the beginning of the season. The original extension was good. He may feel like a more powerful pitcher to hitters.
If things continue like this, he may be eligible for a contract renewal. Baltimore is satisfied with Fujinami’s stuff. Since he’s not that expensive of a player, you may want to keep him in the team’s bullpen. Having seen his performance in Baltimore, the possibility that other teams may be interested in the free agent market cannot be ruled out. If you only reduce walks, the number of strikeouts per 9 innings of 9.84 is definitely attractive.