Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks signee Carter Stewart said Thursday he has a "fantastic opportunity" starting his professional baseball career in Japan.

The first marquee American amateur to turn pro in Nippon Professional Baseball, the 19-year-old pitcher has signed a six-year deal with the Hawks that will guarantee him as much as $7 million.

Speaking to reporters before his departure from the United States, the Florida native said he felt confident in his groundbreaking decision to play across the Pacific.