A total of 43 Japanese-born players have played in at least one Major League Baseball game through the 2010 season. The first instance of a Japanese-born player playing in MLB occurred in 1964, when the Nankai Hawks, a Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) team, sent three exchange prospects to the United States to gain experience in MLB’s Minor League system.
With the news of Yu Darvish on the horizon, we are going to scan the list of Japanese players that have made it to the states, and decide who were the top 5. I done my due diligence on Darvish, and I think he could be a good Major League pitcher for several years. With that said, the history of Japanese players making the transition is awfully suspect. If there have been 43 players to come over, it’s hard to say a handful of them truly had an impact.
Take a look at the 5 Best Japanese Players Ever..
(5) Hiroki Kuroda
The fifth spot had a lot of competitors. I’m going with Kuroda under the assumption he has a few more good yea...