Let’s quickly get to know Tomohiro Anraku, who might be one of the best 16-year-old pitcher in the world, stress might be. Anraku has already been profiled by ESPN the Magazine earlier this summer and is firmly on baseball’s international radar.
What’s amazing is, in the era of pitch counts, Anraku is piling up a workload that might make people like Michael Kay weep openly on the air. During this month’s Summer Koshien — which is a national high school baseball championship — the 16-year-old completed up a 183-pitch outing, via Baseball America. This came after throwing 137 pitches two days earlier.
Somebody get this kid Dr. James Andrews direct-line, right?
That’s not even the most surreal number associated with Anraku. During the Spring Koshien, he threw 772 pitches in the span of nine days.
This is a far cry from youth baseball we tend to see in America. Look at the Little League World Series, airing this month. Pitch counts and their rules are a part of seemingly every ESPN broadcast. We’re almost at the point where if a coach allows a player under the age of 18 to throw a breaking ball he’ll be reported to Child Protection Series.
Anraku is a name to file away for the future. Maybe he becomes the next Yu Darvish. Maybe we never hear about him again due to all the wear and tear on his arm, perhaps landing him more alongside Daisuke Matsuzaka, whom the Mets signed off waivers last week.
In any event, high school baseball in Japan certainly does look awesome. Look how the crowd goes absolutely bonkers after Anraku’s homer around the 1:50 mark of the clip above.