Rouki Sasaki — out of Ofunato High School in Japan — has reportedly piqued the interest of MLB teams, and after seeing him throw 99 miles per hour in a dazzling pitching performance, that should come as no surprise.
Sung Min Kim of FanGraphs and the Athletic reported that Sasaki pitched a complete game, going for 12 innings, and throwing 194 pitches. In the eighth inning of that game, he hit 99.4 miles per hour.
Top Japanese HS prospect Rouki Sasaki hitting 160 kmph (~99.4 mph) during today’s game. Happened during the 8th inning. He ended up throwing 194 pitches in a 12-inning CG. pic.twitter.com/Qmj50CnqWn
— Sung Min Kim (@sung_minkim) July 21, 2019
As reported by 12up.com, Sasaki went the first six innings of that game without giving up a hit. He managed to be clocked at 96 miles per hour pretty regularly during that stretch.
Hopefully his team strays away from letting him go 194 pitches over the course of 12 innings, but Sasaki proved that he doesn’t lay off the heat if that situation presents itself.
Coincidentally enough, Sasaki plays for a high school in the same prefecture as Shohei Ohtani’s alma mater. In his strong pitching performance, Sasaki showed he has the same versatility Ohtani does — he hit a two-run home run in the game to help his team win 4-2 and move them on to the quarterfinals of the The Iwate Games, the Japanese outlet Sports Nippon reported.