KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Kaito Yuki is headed to the Kansas City Royals organization instead of attending high school in Japan.
The team signed Yuki, a 16-year-old pitcher, out of junior high to a standard seven-year minor league contract Sunday. He is thought to be the first Japanese junior high school player to sign with a major league club.
Yuki is listed at 6-foot-2, 170 pounds and his fastball has been clocked at 87-88 mph. He was born on May 12, 2002.
Yuki has been studying English before his move to the United States. The Royals are optimistic that after paperwork is completed, he will arrive in August at the team's spring training complex in Surprise, Arizona, to begin familiarizing himself with the local culture and language.
He would participate in the Royals' fall instructional league in September and October, with the objective of making his professional debut in the low minors next year.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.