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Tazawa eyes place in major leagues

Kyodo News

Right-hander Junichi Tazawa, who helped Nippon Oil to its first title in 13 years at the national corporate baseball tournament that ended Tuesday, will try to sign with a major league club without playing in Japan, baseball sources said Wednesday.

The highly unusual news came as a shock as the 22-year-old Tazawa was expected to draw the spotlight as the key figure in the first round of this year’s autumn amateur draft in Japanese baseball.

Major league clubs, including the Boston Red Sox, appear to be interested in Tazawa.

The right-hander throws a fastball over 150 kilometers per hour and also has a forkball and slider in his arsenal. Tazawa pitched in all five games of the national tournament, posting four wins to help lead Nippon Oil to its ninth overall crown and was named the tournament MVP.