• Kyodo News


Waseda University standout Yuki Saito made himself eligible for the upcoming amateur draft Wednesday, effectively ruling out a career in the major leagues for the foreseeable future.

Saito, nicknamed the “Handkerchief Prince” and projected to be a top pick at the Oct. 28 draft, has been one of the most sought-after amateur talents in Japan since winning the national high school championship in the summer of 2006.

The Chiba Lotte Marines and Tokyo Yakult Swallows have already said they will choose the right-hander first, and he is also said to be on the watch list of several major league teams.

Boasting a 150-kph fastball and superb command, Saito became the sixth pitcher in the Tokyo university league to rack up 30 wins and 300 strikeouts at Waseda.

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