(Translated, via JP sports news media Sponichi.com.)
Report from Sponichi outlet link above and other media outlets coming from Japan… multiple MLB teams have scouted, and have also shown interest in 16 year old outfielder, Mannami (1st year high school, playing for Kanagawa, Yokohama)… Of the 5 reported teams coming from the Major leagues (Yankees, Blue Jays, Athletics, Padres, and Dodgers)… it was the Toronto Blue Jays team that has shown “serious” interest in the 16 year old right-handed hitter, Mannami, even keeping a close eye on him since the start of the 98th National high school Baseball championship tournament, that’s being held at Kanagawa Prefecture this month at Yokohama stadium.
(Mannami’s 135 meter homerun, from yesterday.)
Dan Evans, a top scout of the Blue Jays have acknowledged Mannami as a pure power hitter, even calling him as one of those rare “monster” (top-class) high school Baseball players, notable lists of those includes; Yu Darvish, Shohei Otani, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Hideki Matsui… In terms of power, he’s been compared to slugging Miami Marlins outfielder, Giancarlo Stanton (video link), the player he also idolizes, and hopes to see in the Major leagues someday… Other than his hitting skills, Dan Evans is also pretty surprised at Mannami’s build for a 16 year old, even asking him (in person), if he’s really 16 years old.
The 188 cm, and 90 kg, Mannami, born from a Congolese father, and Japanese mother (DOB: April 7, year 2000, born in Tokyo, Japan)… can also play first base, and pitcher, other than the outfield (leftfield, as main) position. In pitching, he can top out at 138 kp/h on his fastball velocity.
Still, let it be known… that the interest they have in Mannami will not result them signing him even in his final year of high school (cause for high school players to skip the NPB league draft, in favor to play in the US is strictly forbidden), while Mannami ,though, has shown some interest to play in the Major leagues, he won’t be signing with any ML team till he’s reached posting eligibility (which is 7 years of service time needed on the NPB active roster). It’s a long way to go, but it’s still pretty awesome to see he has shown interest to play in the Major leagues.