Hiroshima Carp ace Kenta Maeda has made no secret of his desire to pitch in the big leagues, but said that will depend on how much he can raise his game.

Maeda, who won the 2010 Sawamura Award as Japan's best starting pitcher and was named to the all-tournament team at last year's World Baseball Classic, said he's been thinking about a future in the majors since a pair of contemporaries, Yu Darvish and Hisashi Iwakuma, went to the States.

"My dream (in high school) was just to turn pro," Maeda told Kyodo News on Sunday before a preseason game at QVC Marine Field. "I didn't really watch them (big league games) that much.