Sometimes Edwin Escobar will unleash a fastball that whizzes through the air with such speed and force that you can almost feel the impact when it slams into the catcher's glove.

That fastball is well-traveled. It has helped carry Escobar from his native Venezuela to MLB, where he played for the Boston Red Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks, to his current home in Yokohama with the DeNA BayStars.

The lefty is often among NPB’s hardest-throwing relievers. He was fifth among relief pitchers with an average velocity of 154.1 kph (95.7 mph) last season. He is a tick slower this year but is still one of the hardest throwers in Japan.