By Adam McGill @adammcgill83twitter.com on March 10, 2014
After months of bidding up his price and creating a buzz, Japanese sensation Masahiro Tanaka finally signed with the New York Yankees. He ended up accepting a very lucrative 5 million contract to head to the Bronx, and as a result, he has become a popular fantasy baseball option. So as you approach draft day and compile your cheat sheets, here are five reasons to grab Masahiro Tanaka in 2014 fantasy baseball drafts.
The 25-year-old comes over to America in his prime and the fireballer has five-plus years of strong fantasy numbers ahead of him. The Yankees paid a lot of money to get the youngster to come to New York, and considering his age, fantasy fans can expect Tanaka to go all out in year one.
The Bronx Bombers will be back in 2014 after the team spent 1 million this off-season bringing in new bats, such as C Brian McCann, OF Carlos Beltran, OF Jacoby Ellsbury, 2B Brian Roberts, and OF Kelly Johnson. The team will easily win more games this season and the added run support will allow Tanaka to record over 12 wins in his rookie season.
Tanaka has been widely considered a natural competitor and several of his former teammates and coaches have bragged about his competitiveness. Tanaka wants to be on the mound, but more importantly he wants to win. He has that edge that only the elite pitchers in the game possess.
Tanaka shockingly threw 1,315 innings during his professional career in Japan, including a staggering 212 innings last season alone. He has proven to be a workhorse on the mound and should easily throw 200-plus innings in his first fantasy season.
Tanaka has an incredible seven-pitch repertoire, but his split-finger fastball is one of the best in all of baseball. He demonstrated it in a spring training game against Domonic Brown, in which Tanaka struck out the prized prospect on a nasty pitch that spun the outfielder completely around. Tanaka’s split-finger will be his best strikeout pitch and will allow the Japanese sensation to record over 180 K’s in 2014.
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