Naoki Miyanishi

Date: 06/08/16
Position: LHP
Age: 31
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 165
B/T: L/L
Acquisition Period: 3rd Rd., 2009 NPB College Player Draft (Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters)
School: Kwansei Gakuin University (Hyogo)

NPB Prospect Profile

The Fighters selected Miyanishi in the 3rd round of the 2007 draft, and he made his NPB debut the following year. Although the sidewinding lefty struggled a bit in his first season out of the Fighters’ bullpen (4.76 ERA and only 25 strikeouts in 45 1/3 innings), he has since never posted an ERA above 2.89 or appeared in less than 50 games in a season. With his 50th appearance in 2015, he became only the third player in NPB history to appear in 50 or more games in eight straight seasons.

Miyanishi is off to a great start in 2016 with a 1.32 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, and 13 holds in 20 appearances (13 2/3 innings). His sidearm delivery is very similar to Javier Lopez (LHP, Giants) and Tommy Layne (LHP, Red Sox), and he features a fastball that tops out at 87-to-88 mph that he pairs with a sweeping slider and a curveball.

Having already qualified for domestic free agency once in Japan, Miyanishi will have the option of declaring as an international free agent at the end of the 2016 season. We can only speculate about his desire to play overseas, but there is always a demand for left-handed relief pitching and Miyanishi would come at too great a cost for any MLB team looking to sign him.