This article first appeared on SportsLook, JAPAN Forward's dedicated sports website.
Like many of his countrymen, Triple Crown winner Munetaka Murakami has expressed an interest in moving to the major leagues.
"Of course, I want to try," the 22-year-old Murakami said during a news conference on Monday, November 14 at the Japan National Press Club. "I don't know how old I'll be, but I'm still young, so the sooner the better."
Murakami has only played four full seasons for the Swallows. So he has a long way to go before achieving international free agency status.
For him to go sooner, the Swallows would have to be open to making him available through the posting system. Some teams in NPB are more open to posting than others.
The record of Japanese position players over the years in MLB has been spotty. Ichiro Suzuki and Hideki Matsui thrived in the majors. But many more failed or had only modest results. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, formerly of the Chiba Lotte Marines, comes to mind.
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Author: Jim Armstrong
The author is a longtime journalist who has covered sports in Japan for more than 25 years. You can find his articles here.