When Masahiro Tanaka (RHP, Yankees) left for the big leagues at the end of the Eagles’ 2013 championship season, it was Norimoto’s job to take over as the staff ace. He has done so in fine fashion, giving the Eagles 202.2 IP in 2014 and 194.2 IP last season. So far in 2016, he has posted seven straight quality starts to begin the season with his most recent start being a six inning, one run no-decision against the first-place SoftBank Hawks. Norimoto can be a bit wild at times – he recently walked four in six innings against the Seibu Lions – but he already has 58 Ks in 50 innings after two straight 200+ K seasons.
In what is generally a contact heavy league, 200+ K campaigns are a big deal. Some may balk at Norimoto’s stature, but his splitter and slider give him two plus secondary offerings to go with his mid-90‘s heater. Given his relatively young age, a future in MLB is certainly a possibility and this is a name you will want to follow.