Watch 18-Year-Old Shintaro Fujinami Buckle Akinori Iwamura In NPB Debut

Even though Shohei Ohtani received more media attention last year when he stated publicly that he wanted to sign with a major league organization out of high school, several scouts felt that Shintaro Fujinami was Japan’s top prep arm.

Ohtani and Fujinami both ended up signing with Nippon Professional Baseball clubs as first-round picks and have made their debuts this year, Ohtani as a two-way player with the Nippon Ham Fighters (though he’s yet to pitch in an official game) and Fujinami with the Hanshin Tigers. Fujniami, 18, made his NPB debut on Sunday, when he allowed two runs (one earned) over six innings with seven strikeouts, four walks and three hits allowed in 105 pitches.

The visual highlight came on the pitch he threw to strike out former major leaguer Akinori Iwamura (go to 1:30 in the video), where Iwamura nearly pulled a muscle buckling on a breaking ball despite being a lefthanded hitter against a righthanded pitcher.