We’re not going to act like we know everything about Hirokazu Sawamura, the newest member of the Boston Red Sox.
However, we do know his stats and highlights from Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball are intriguing, to say the least.
The Red Sox on Tuesday formally signed Sawamura to a two-year contract with an option for a third season. Sawamura, 32, arrives in Major League Baseball following nine successful NPB seasons, the last five of which he spent as a high-leverage reliever.
He struggled at the beginning of last year while with the Yomiuri Giants, but dominated after a midseason move to the Chiba Lotte Marines.
Here are some impressive late-2020 highlights from Sawamura, who possesses a high-90s fastball and a low-90s splitter:
And here’s a video of a full at-bat:
Obviously, it remains to be seen whether Sawamura’s stuff translates to big league success, but he nevertheless looks like a player capable of carving out a significant role in the Red Sox bullpen.
Sawamura had a 2.77 ERA with an 8.2 K/9 ratio over nine seasons in Japan, while racking up 75 saves and 64 holds. He posted a 1.71 ERA in 22 appearances last season for Chiba.