After writing about Fukudome and Kuroda, I wanted to investigate other Japanese players that could be coming over to the majors this year. I am using a list of players from mlb4u.com to learn their names and a little bit about them and then using japanese baseball stat sites to learn about their performance in games.
He currently plays for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks. Apparently he has won 3 of the last 4 “Cy Young” Awards in Japan, despite having nagging shoulder injuries. According to mlb4u.com, his forkball is devasting, has three breaking pitches, and fastball in the low 90's (seriously check out this site because they have really nice concise scouting reports).
His career ERA is 3.33, and the last two years he has gone 201 innings with a 1.75 ERA (two years ago) and last year 72.1 innings with a 2.74 ERA (so I am assuming he missed some time with one of those nagging shoulder injuries). The year that he pitched 201 innings, he had 205 Strike outs.
Like any pitcher coming to America to the majors, his ERA will shoot up. A “devasting” forkball will help him because its not a common pitch here in America and should give him some lift. I would expect that if he pitched around 200 innings, he would have a simular strikeout rating, but his ERA (once again) will be around 4.50 or so.
Personally, I would like to stay away from Japanese pitchers, there is a lot risk associated, and this pitcher will have to be posted as well, and the cost will be more than Kurdoa.