Senga Kodai (29) signed a five-year, $75 million contract with the New York Mets. The right to refuse trade and even an opt-out clause were included in the contract. Senga, who conquered Japanese professional baseball with a fastball reaching a maximum speed of 101 miles (about 162.5 km), is now challenging the American stage by crossing the Pacific Ocean.
Senga’s career in Japan has been spectacular. During his 11 years, he went 87-44 with a 2.59 earned run average, and struck out 1252 in 1089 innings with a strikeout rate of 28.22% and a walk rate of 9.33%, his best performance. He also has good team performance. He was selected for Softbank 1 in the Japan Series for four consecutive years, and won six championships. Major league clubs have also been constantly observing Senga, and the Mets won the recruitment battle.
Expectations for Senga are high even in the local area. Some worry that Senga may have difficulty adapting, but there are already Japanese players who dominate the major leagues, so there is a prospect that it will not be a big problem. 스포츠토토
On the 20th (Korean time), MLB.com, the official homepage of the Major League, announced the news of Senga’s joining and said, “Senga has a fastball that can reach 101 miles. But the Major League official ball is bigger, harder and smoother. It may not be,” he said, expressing concern. The starting schedule is also a problem. The media also mentioned Senga’s physical problems, saying, “While the major leagues have a five-man rotation, Japanese pitchers usually go on the mound once a week.”
At the same time, he predicted that Senga would quickly melt into American baseball because there were many success stories. The media expressed anticipation for Senga’s performance, saying, “Many Japanese pitchers such as Masahiro Tanaka, Yu Darvish, and Shohei Otani have successfully adapted to the change over the past 10 years.”
Darvish, a major league senior, also gave advice to Senga. Darvish told Senga to “learn English,” and Senga has been preparing for the major leagues by taking English classes three times a week. Thanks to this, Senga also answered reporters’ questions in English at his joining press conference.
Heunhyeon Senga plans to focus on training to participate in next year’s spring camp. Senga’s agent said, “I’m in the New York Mets’ program. I’m going to start now and prepare for spring training.”