In front of scouts from 10 MLB teams…Imanaga shows off his 1,000K career milestone

Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) left-hander Shota Imanaga (30, Yokohama BayStars) has reached 1,000 career strikeouts.

Imanaga started the game against the Junichi Dragons at Yokohama Stadium in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, on Wednesday, allowing one run on seven hits through the eighth inning. Despite the team’s 1-2 loss, Imanaga added 11 strikeouts to reach the 1,000-strikeout milestone. The 156th in NPB history and ninth in franchise history. His 983 K/9 is the eighth-fastest in franchise history, and he reached the four-figure strikeout mark in just one-third of an inning.

“It’s a number that shows my gratitude to my fans and family for their support,” Imanaga said, “and I want to continue to build it up one by one.” Imanaga’s first NPB strikeout came on March 29, 2016, against Hisayoshi Chono of the Yomiuri Giants. “I can’t forget it. I still think about it now,” he said.

It was announced earlier this month that Imanaga would try out for Major League Baseball (MLB) after the season via the posting system (closed competitive bidding). Nikkan Sports reported, “Reflecting the high level of interest, more than 25 scouts from 10 teams, including the New York Yankees and New York Mets, showed up at the Junichi workout. The Cubs were represented by their president, Jed Hoyer.토토사이트

Imanaga is the best left-handed starter in the NPB. This season, he is 7-3 with a 2.71 ERA in 20 appearances. He has pitched exclusively for Yokohama since his debut in 2016 and has a career NPB record of 64-49 with a 3.17 ERA. His fastball sits over 150 km/h and he mixes in a slider and changeup. In June 2022, he threw the 96th no-hitter in NPB history against the Nippon Ham Fighters. At the WBC in March, he led the mound alongside Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels) and Darvish Yu (San Diego Padres) to help Japan win the title.

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