Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles RH pitcher Takahiro Norimoto, 25, recently asked his team, after signing an extension this month, that he wants to be posted after the 2019 regular season for an opportunity to play in the Major leagues, at the age of 28, according to the report… which his team will soon agree, eventually, and will join star player Shohei Otani (Twitter link) as one of the best pitcher/player in the market to be posted in the 2019 off-season coming from NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball).
Ever since Masahiro Tanaka left the Eagles for the Major leagues, Takahiro Norimoto has been the ace of the pitching staff, posting four double digit wins in these past 4 years (compiling a record of 50-40), an earned run average of 3.03 in 113 games played (762.2 innings pitched). He finished his 2016 regular season campaign with an 11-11 record, along with an earned run average of 2.91, while starting 28 games (2 complete games, 195 innings pitched) in the year.
Like with Otani, Takahiro Norimoto is no stranger in International games, as he was the starting pitcher for Team Japan in year 2014, Game 3, against the MLB all-stars featuring Jose Altuve, Ben Zobrist, Robinson Cano, and some well known others. Tossing a combined no-hitter (4 pitchers overall) leading their Japanese team to victory by a score of 4-0… he also participated in the Premier 12 event last year in 2015.
Takahiro Norimoto sports a fastball that ranges around 147-153 kph, a slider, changeup, splitter/forkball (his best pitch), and a curveball.
As a Rakuten Eagle fan myself, it will certainly be tough seeing him go… but still, it’s his dream, nothing much more to be done but enjoy the time when he’s still in a Rakuten uniform, and wish him the best of luck when his time to leave for overseas comes.