At this point, it is safe to say that it is a neighborhood book. Shintaro Fujinami (29, Oakland Athletics), who was called a rival of Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels) in high school, also fell in the major leagues.
Fujinami took the mound as the second pitcher after starting pitcher Mason Miller in an away game against the Kansas City Royals in the 2023 Major League Baseball held at Kaufman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, USA on the 8th (hereinafter Korean time), and gave up 4 hits and 3 runs in 1⅓ innings. His earned run average for the season rose to 13.94.
Fujinami was called Ohtani’s rival in high school. He threw a fastball in the latter half of 150km, but he could not solve his concerns about the ball. He was the same during his days with the Hanshin Tigers in Japanese professional baseball. Ohtani entered the major leagues early in the form of Gungye Ilhak and was reborn as the world’s best dual wielder, but Fujinami was in place.
Still, Fujinami couldn’t abandon his dream of advancing to the major leagues. Ahead of this season, he signed a one-year, $3.25 million (approximately 4.3 billion won) contract with Oakland. Judging by the size of his contract, Auckland didn’t have very high expectations. Still, he took a chance as a starting pitcher due to injuries such as Drew Luczynski from the NC Dinos in the KBO League 스포츠토토.
April 2 against LA Angels (2⅓ innings, 5 hits, 4 strikeouts, 3 walks, 8 runs), April 9 against Tampa Bay Rays (4 ⅓ innings, 3 hits, 1 strikeout, 5 walks, 5 runs), April 16 against New York Mets (6 innings) 4 hits, 5 strikeouts, 3 runs, 3 runs), and was eliminated from the starting lineup after the Texas Rangers match on April 23 (7 hits, 2 strikeouts, 4 runs, 8 runs in 2⅓ innings). He only established one quality start against the Mets. He went to the bullpen with a 14.40 earned run average in four losses as a starter.
Since he is fast with the ball, there must have been an expectation that his power would be maximized if he threw around one inning out of the bullpen. It wasn’t. He appeared in five games with the bullpen through the 8th, but only had two visa books. 5⅔ innings, 8 hits, 6 strikeouts, 7 walks, 8 earned runs, 12.71 ERA. It is fortunate that there were no defeats. He hasn’t changed in the starter or bullpen.
He got on the mound in the bottom of the seventh inning, trailing 1–2, and blocked one inning well. He threw a splitter to Bobby Witt Jr. and got a hit, but didn’t allow a run. However, with the start of the 8th inning, Salvador Perez, MJ Melendez, and Nick Prato were hit in a row and were beaten. Splitter continued to get hit, and a 98 mph four-seamer hit a two-run double as he went in the middle.
Let alone his first win in his debut, his earned run average is too high. At this level, it is awkward to put your name on the major league entry itself. Ohtani’s rival has completely collapsed from the major leagues. 0.307 batting average and 2.23 WHIP. There is no neighborhood book.