Japanese baseball player Yu Darvish is living up to the high expectations surrounding his move from Japan to the U.S. baseball major leagues. He was just named the American League Rookie of the Month in April.
Playing for his new club Texas Rangers, Darvish became just the sixth rookie starter since 1957 to win at least four games without a loss in April.
The 25-year-old right-hander was a dominant pitcher for seven years in Japan before the Rangers spent more than $107 million to acquire him last winter.
Before leaving for the U.S., he said it was difficult to stay motivated in Japan and he wanted to become the best pitcher in the world.
“I want to be the kind of pitcher about whom everyone in the world will say, ‘the number one pitcher is Darvish,” he said at the last press conference at his former club, Nippon Ham Fighters.
Born from an Iranian father and a Japanese mother, Darvish became the best paid player in Japan. He joined the Nippon Ham Fighters in 2005, after high school, and reportedly grew to earn about $6.4 million per season.