A player who started his pro career without being nominated in the official draft won a contract worth tens of millions of dollars from a major league (MLB) team in 11 years. This is the story of Kodai Senga (29), a Japanese pitcher who has been confirmed to go to the New York Mets.
On the 11th (Korean time), MLB.com, the official homepage of Major League Baseball, said, “The Mets have signed a contract with Japanese right-hander Senga Kodai (29, Softbank).” The size of the contract is 5 years and 75 million dollars (approximately 97.9 billion won).
Senga received a lot of attention for his outstanding pitch. His main weapon is a fastball with a maximum speed of 164 km/h and a forkball with a large drop, so-called ‘ghost fork’. In addition, the power of the slider and cut fastball (cutter) is also excellent.
The Mets parted ways after the end of the 2022 season with Jacob deGrom (34), who won the Cy Young Award twice and established 토토사이트 himself as an immovable ace. As a result, they caught Justin Verlander (39), the “living legend” who won the American League Cy Young Award this year, and completed the starting triangle with Max Scherzer (38) by recruiting Senga.
With this contract, Senga marked a new milestone in the history of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). According to West Japan Sports, a Japanese media outlet, Senga is the first time that a player from fostering has entered the major leagues.
Even during his amateur days, Senga was not a pitcher that attracted much attention. He started playing baseball in his second year of elementary school and played as a third baseman until middle school. Senga did not let go of his dream of becoming an infielder even when he entered high school.
However, Senga switched to pitching at the urging of the manager who saw potential as a pitcher after watching the catch ball. His injuries prevented him from playing, but his senior year in high school showed some improvement. However, Senga was still close to obscurity.
At that time, the team that found Senga was Softbank. Softbank selected Senga in the 4th round in the 2010 training draft after receiving a recommendation from the president of a baseball supply store in Nagoya City. At the time, there was no down payment, and the annual salary was 2.7 million yen (approximately 25.88 million won) with 3 million yen (approximately 28.75 million won) in guidance. He also had a uniform number of three digits, number 128.
Since then, Senga, who has improved his speed, stepped on the first team stage in 2012, the second year, and stood out with 17 holds and an average ERA of 2.40 in 2013. After joining the starting lineup in earnest in 2016, he won double-digit multipliers for seven consecutive years, recording a career record of 87 wins and 44 losses with an ERA of 2.59.
Senga, who won the Pacific League Triple Crown in 2020, recorded an average ERA of 1.44 with 11 wins and 6 losses in 22 games this season. And when he entered the major leagues, he received an annual salary (15 million dollars, approximately 19.5 billion won) that is 681 times the amount of his first year as a pro. Indeed, he wrote the success story of a foster player.