Sports

Highly touted pitcher Tomohiro Anraku taken first in Japanese baseball amateur draft

Japan's high school pitching star Tomohiro Anraku smiles next to a photo of his baseball team head coach Masanori Joko who died in September during a news conference at Saibi High School in Matsuyama, western Japan, Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, after he was chosen first overall in Nippon Professional Baseball's amateur draft and was headed to the former team of New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. The Yakult Swallows and Rakuten Eagles selected Anraku, whose fastball has been clocked as high as 97 mph (156 kph), with the first and second picks respectively, and the Eagles won a lottery for the highly touted 17-year-old right-hander. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, CREDIT MANDATORY

Japan's high school pitching star Tomohiro Anraku smiles next to a photo of his baseball team head coach Masanori Joko who died in September during a news conference at Saibi High School in Matsuyama, western Japan, Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, after he was chosen first overall in Nippon Professional Baseball's amateur draft and was headed to the former team of New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. The Yakult Swallows and Rakuten Eagles selected Anraku, whose fastball has been clocked as high as 97 mph (156 kph), with the first and second picks respectively, and the Eagles won a lottery for the highly touted 17-year-old right-hander. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, CREDIT MANDATORY  (The Associated Press)

High school pitching star Tomohiro Anraku was chosen first overall in Nippon Professional Baseball's amateur draft on Thursday and was headed to the former team of New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka.

The Yakult Swallows and Rakuten Eagles selected Anraku with the first and second picks respectively, and the Eagles won a lottery for the highly touted 17-year-old right-hander.

The 6-foot-2, 187-pound (1.88-meter, 85-kilogram) Anraku, whose fastball has been clocked as high as 97 mph, has generated interest on both sides of the Pacific.

In 2013, Anraku threw 183 pitches in one game at the Koshien high school tournament after a 137-pitch complete game the previous day.

The Eagles won the Japan Series in 2013 but finished last this season after 24-game winner Tanaka signed with the Yankees.