Instead of going to high school, one young man from Japan is on his way to play for the Kansas City Royals.
On Sunday, 16-year-old Kaito Yuki signed a $322,500 contract with the minor league. In a statement from the Royals, the young pitcher chose to play in the U.S. rather than play at the Hoshien Stadium in Japan.
Born May 12, 2002, young Yuki is 6-foot-2 and weighs 170 pounds. His fastball, which he throws with his right hand, clocks in at around 87-88 mph.
Before moving to the U.S., Yuki is studying up on the English language and culture. According to the Royals, after his paperwork clears, he will land in Surprise, Arizona in August, where the team trains for spring.
During the months of Septemeber and October, Yuki will be participating in the Kansas City Royals’ fall, instructional league. The league hopes to have him paying in the minors during the 2019 season.
Kansas City Royals Add Young Man From Japan To Team
According to the Royals international scout Hiroyuki Oya, he’s got some work to do. They first want him to build his body and skills up with him hopefully receiving an invite to the majors in five years.
During a youth tournament in the U.S. last year, Yuki was able to attract the attention of different scouts.
Officials believe Yuki is the youngest baseball player from the country of Japan ever to sign a contract of this statue. Rene Francisco, Royals vice president, and the assistant general manager speaks very highly of Yuki. He says that it’s fantastic that Yuki has the opportunity of forgoing high school and going straight to the leagues. Even so, most Japanese players remain in school.
Currently, the Royals have four players on their team of Japanese descent. One of their Japanese players, outfielder Nori Aoki, came to them after a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers. During the 2014 season, he was a starter for the team that was able to win the American League pennant. However, the team was not able to win against the San Francisco Giants during the World Series.