The New York Mets are preparing a nice surprise for the league.
Everybody knows they signed Japanese pitcher Kodai Senga for $75 million, but few people understand just how dominant he can be.
In fact, in a best-case scenario, Senga would give the Mets three aces together with Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander.
Spring training opened this week, and Senga already looks in mid-season form.
Not only is he throwing bullpens, but he also took the time to chat with Fox Sports’ Deesha Thosar about a wide array of things.
“Takeaways from Kodai Senga’s first presser of spring: the steepness of the mound has been a big difference & something he will need to adjust to; he likes pizza in America; an American pitcher he looked up to was Randy Johnson; he wants to hit ‘a little’; 96 mph max velo today,” she tweeted.
Takeaways from Kodai Senga's first presser of spring:
-the steepness of the mound has been a big difference & something he will need to adjust to
-he likes pizza in America
-an American pitcher he looked up to was Randy Johnson
-he wants to hit "a little"
-96 mph max velo today
— Deesha (@DeeshaThosar) February 16, 2023
Let’s break down what he said point by point.
Adjustments, like in this case the steepness of the mound, are common for Japanese pitchers.
They are related to his on-mound performance and also with his life off the field.
He is coming from another country and a whole different culture; and the NPB also had its own set of rules that are not necessarily the same as in America.
Of course he likes pizza – almost everyone does! – and he will find a few good options in NY.
As for his American role model in pitching, it’s hard to go wrong with Randy Johnson, a Hall of Famer through and through.
We don’t know if the Mets will let him hit, but it seems unlikely.
Finally, and the most encouraging bit of information: he is already touching 96 mph.
The scouting report says he can sit 95-96 and touch 98-99, so 96 in the first week of the spring is amazing.
The Mets appear to have a great one in Senga.NEXT: Video Shows Newest Mets Ace Putting In The Work