• Kyodo

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Fifteen-year-old right-hander Kento Tsujimoto signed a provisional contract with the Hanshin Tigers on Sunday, which made him the youngest pro baseball player in Japan since the amateur draft was introduced in 1965.

Tsujimoto, who was the Osaka-based Central League club’s eighth-round pick at the draft last Wednesday, agreed to a signing bonus of 10 million yen in addition to a first-year salary of 4.4 million yen.

“I got excited seeing where I’ll be able to play,” said Tsujimoto, who was accompanied by his family as he put pen to paper at Koshien Stadium, the Tigers’ home field in Hyogo Prefecture. “I feel all the more stronger that the Koshien mound is where I’m going to do it. I don’t care how long it takes and I just want to make the top team and contribute to the team,” he said.

Tsujimoto became the youngest player to be selected since the start of the annual draft. He returned to Japan last month after attending school in California.

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