What does Junichi Tazawa throw?

Due to the length of the extra-inning affair between the Yankees and Red Sox, we got a preview of Junichi Tazawa’s stuff.

Here’s his scouting report from SoxProspects.com:

Tazawa makes use of an 88-92 mph fastball that works inward on righties. It flattens out at higher velocities. Presently it’s about average, but it has some plus potential. His secondary stuff is very advanced for his age, and he relies on it heavily. He mixes in an excellent low-80s backdoor slider, a nice low-70s curve (his out pitch), and occasionally makes use of an above average forkball (basically a split-fingered change-up).

Tonight (or should I say this morning?) he threw a four-seam fastball and two-seam fastball, both around 91-93 mph. His breaking pitches were an 81-83 mph slider and a 77-78 mph curveball. There was no sign tonight (in two innings) of a change-up, splitter, or forkball.

So it looks like this scouting report from Casey Greer at Bleacher Report might be more accurate or up-to-date than the more oft-quoted report from SoxProspects.

Tazawa features a low-mid-90s fastball, which tails in on right-handed hitters. His curve, which generally sits between 75-78 mph, is an effective offspeed pitch with sharp, late break. His slider, or possibly a shuuto, which he throws the least of all of the pitches breaks mostly down, and sits in the low-mid-80s.

The pitch that A-Rod hit for a home run was a curveball.

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  1. Koufax said...

    The pitch A-Rod hit wasn’t his slider?  I saw three fingers put down, and it appeared to have less break than the curves throw previously.  I disagreed with the pitch selection as soon as I saw the three fingers go down, and only hoped he got it out of the strike zone which he did not.

  2. BC said...

    Somehow tis reads like a slight, even an insult, to Tazawa.  Is that intended?  Or is it some dumb idea of hu-mor, that a pitcher’s best out pitch was hit by A-Rod for a home run?

      Really, I don’t get the point of this post at this time, save to be Mr. Fast to show himself an asshole.

      I’ll be glad to be proven wrong.

  3. Dan Novick said...


    I didn’t look at the pitch f/x like Mike did, but the YES radar gun had the pitch at 78 mph. His fastball is in the low 90s, so that seems like too big of a difference to be a slider (to me, at least). It might have just been a curveball that didn’t break much, and that’s why A-Rod was able to hit it so hard.

  4. leutbneot said...

    Wow, someone’s bitter. This post isn’t in any way a slight on Tazawa, it’s just a scouting report.

    Yeesh. Lighten up.

  5. John Beamer said...

    BC – are you reading a differnt post?

    Think you owe Mr Fast an apology. He’s just used pitch f/x to provide a look at how JT pitched – absolutely factual with no opinion. I found it informative – thanks Mike.

  6. Tim said...

    How in the world is the second scouting report more accurate or up-to-date than the first report? 

    (1) Did you really expect Tazawa to flash all of his pitches in 1.2 innings of relief? Even the ones he only uses occasionally?  Seriously?

    (2) “Tonight … he threw a four-seam fastball and two-seam fastball, both around 91-93 mph.”  Do you really think he throws his two-seamer and four-seamer at the same speed?  Really?

    (3) “There was no sign tonight (in two innings) of a change-up, splitter, or forkball.”  Did you expect his occasionally-used forkball to meld into three pitches?  Again, because he didn’t throw it in 1.2 innings of relief in his major league debut doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. 

    (4) Regarding the second scouting report, Tazawa does not hit the mid-90s with his fastball. His slider also is not mid-80s.

  7. Dan Novick said...

    Bobby, I have no idea. I know the YES gun sucks though, so I can’t vouch for the 78 reading on it. I just checked the file, and it says about 77.9mph on pitch f/x.

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