4) Shota Imanaga
Although Shota Imanaga is a little-known pitcher in the West, some were able to see his performance and arsenal in the last World Baseball Classic competition. Imanaga is a left-handed pitcher for the DeNA BayStars who will be released by his organization so that he can be signed by an MLB team, which was officially announced by the team.
Imanaga is a short left-handed pitcher who has pitched for eight seasons in the Nippon Professional Baseball league. The 30-year-old Japanese pitcher has a career record of 74-55 with a 2.96 ERA and 1,183 strikeouts in 1,129.2 innings pitched.
The 2023 season has been one of the pitcher's best, posting a 7-4 record, with a 2.80 ERA, and 174 strikeouts in 148 innings pitched. Part of the effectiveness of this left-handed pitcher is his ability to generate enough spin rate on his pitches.
His ability to generate high movement from his pitches makes his fastball, which averages 94.4 mph, look like a faster pitch due to its ''rising'' effect. Additionally, among his breaking pitches, the splitter looks like one of the most interesting, having a comparison with Kodai Senga's Ghost Forkball.
Because it must go through the posting fee system, Imanaga's successful signature carried an additional cost. Anyway, because he is not one of the top or most popular pitchers on the market, his value could be relatively low and a good deal for the Mets.