Dodgers interested in Kikuchi

Dodgers interested in Kikuchi

PHILADELPHIA -- The Dodgers blazed the trail with Japanese pitchers, from Hideo Nomo to Kaz Ishii to Hiroki Kuroda, and now they are after another.

Japanese media outlets report that Dodgers assistant general manager Logan White traveled to Japan this week to meet with 18-year-old left-handed pitcher Yusei Kikuchi, who is considering become the first high school player from Japan to sign with a Major League franchise and bypass the Japan League draft.

Nomo, Ishii and Kuroda came to the Major Leagues having already played in the Japan League.

Eight Major League clubs are believed to be interested in Kikuchi, whose fastball has been clocked at 95 mph by American scouts. Among the clubs reportedly in on Kikuchi are the Yankees, Red Sox and Mariners.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.