I was looking through the newspapers in the train station on my way home today, and the front page of Nikkan Sports is dedicated to a kid named Shuhei Fujiya. Don't worry, you can click on that link, it's in English... and goes to his profile page for the USC Trojans baseball team.
(See, while this post is not Japanese college baseball related for a change, it is related to a Japanese college baseball player. Japanese article here, though if you can get your hands on the Oct 12th Nikkan paper, it has a LOT more detail.)
Anyway, supposedly the scouts for the Fighters and Swallows have both had their eye on this kid for a while -- he's a 6'3" 170 pitcher (who tops out at 96 mph supposedly) for the University of South California, who also played for the University of North Iowa before their baseball program dissolved. He's been pitching primarily as a reliever, and had a record for saves as a closer at Iowa, and has also been a closer at USC apparently.
Also in his favor, the San Diego Padres chose him in the 18th round of the 2009 draft out of Iowa, but he didn't sign. It's unclear why exactly he didn't sign, but he apparently moved on to USC to finish his college career.
Shuhei was born in Tokyo and moved to California during middle school due to his father's work, and went to high school in Irvine before going to college at Northern Iowa; he became a regular on the Iowa team in his sophomore year.
Intriguingly, despite that he doesn't have any REAL baseball experience in Japan, since he IS a Japanese passport-holding true-blood and all, he can enter the draft here just like any other Japanese college kid without counting against any limits.
I don't really know anything about him beyond just reading this story today, but I can say that he certainly sounds like an intriguing prospect. I mean, if he was good enough to be drafted by the majors, then I certainly HOPE he can do well over here in Japan!
Plus, the Fighters are notorious for working with guys who have "interesting" backgrounds (read: Darvish, Dass, Micheal, Tadano, Unten...); I'm guessing that a guy who didn't go through the typical regime of being in the Japanese HS/college system here would probably need slightly different approaches from the coaches on how to work on stuff, but we have right in our ranks a genuine former MLBer in Masato Yoshii.
It's intriguing -- VERY intriguing. And only 16 days left until Draft Day...
Which reminds me that I still wonder which teams, if any, are looking at Naoya Washiya (who played HS baseball at Komadai Tomakomai and was in the Nats system for a year or two after going to college in the US). He's also very intriguing to me.