You can make a case for the New York Mets having not one, and not two, but three aces.
Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander are the most conventional ones.
But they may have a third top-of-the-rotation arm in Kodai Senga.
Senga has been a star in the Nippon Professional League (NPB) back in Japan, but can his dominating stuff translate to the big leagues as smoothly?
It could go both ways, but he has as good of odds as any Japanese import.
The sweet sight of Senga 🔥 pic.twitter.com/5lPlzer7NZ
— New York Mets (@Mets) February 16, 2023
The 30-year-old right-hander has a lifetime record of 104-51 with a 2.42 ERA with 1,486 strikeouts in 1,340.2 innings.
That’s elite performance over a sustained period of time.
Last year, he posted a 1.89 ERA in 148 innings, with 159 punchouts with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks.
The Mets signed Senga to a five-year, $75 million contract knowing that he has the potential to be a frontline starter in MLB.
When it comes to on-mound tools, he has it all.
His peak fastball velocity was 101.9 mph in 2022, according to reports.
His average fastball velocity is 95-96 mph and he can routinely touch 98-99 mph.
That will do!
But that’s not all: he has excellent command, too.
And he also has excellent secondary offerings: he can throw several pitches other than his heater, but his “ghost fork” (a type of splitter) is his trademark offering.
He is still at his peak, and he can be the next great Japanese starter in MLB, like Yu Darvish, Kenta Maeda, and of course Shohei Ohtani.
In a best-case scenario, Senga can give the Mets a third ace, and that will make them extremely tough to beat in short postseason series.NEXT: Video Shows Francisco Lindor Remembering What Matters Most