WBC Showcases New Talent: Yu Darvish, Discovered

Michael PhillipsContributor IMarch 11, 2009

At last, baseball is back, and I am not talking about spring training. I am talking about the 2nd annual World Baseball Classic (WBC), which kicked off March 5 with Japan handing rival China a 4-0 loss.

On display in the 16-team tournament are some of the world's greatest baseball talents. It's a cross-world showdown for international bragging rights.

There is no continent more talent-laden than Asia. Some of the MLB’s most prominent players have come from China and Japan: Think Ichiro Suzuki of Seattle, Chien Ming-Wang of the Yankees, and Daisuke Matsuzaka of the Red Sox. And that’s just to name a few.

While watching the first game of the WBC, I saw lots of talent, but one player stood out. Japan’s Yu Darvish (who plays on Japanese pro team Nippon Ham Fighters during the regular season), a lanky and funky-delivering pitcher, is all but of 22 years old, but has an arsenal of different breaking pitches to go along with a straight-on fastball.

According to Sankei Sports (via Rotoworld), Darvish throws a low-90s fastball, but his curve ball is even more deadly. The 6'5", 180-pounder went 15-5 last season with a 1.82 ERA and 210 K.

While it appears there is currently no interest from the 22 year old to leave Japan, Americans can still drool over the potential impact he could have on a MLB club.

In my opinion, Darvish already looks better than Boston ace Matsuzaka, and that is saying something with Matsuzaka coming off a year in which he went 18-3. Expect to see more of Darvish in the future, so long as Japan keeps winning.