Boston Red Sox 2021 Player Preview: Hirokazu Sawamura


The Syndicate's Red Sox Writers and Red Sox Podcast to be Named Later hosts will be profiling a different Red Sox player each day to get you ready for the 2021 season.
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Today's featured player: Hirokazu Sawamura
The upcoming 2021 season will be Hirokazu Sawamura’s first in the Major Leagues.  Boston signed the free agent reliever from Japan this offseason.  The right hander is bringing a 2.96 career ERA and 790 career strikeouts with him to the states.  Sawamura has a fastball that can touch the upper 90’s but is usually sitting in the mid 90’s.  He also has a very good splitter.  A lot of his highlights display that split fingered fastball and it can make hitters look silly.  Boston has a good track record playing relievers with similar profiles to Sawamura.
Back of the baseball card:
Position(s): Relief Pitcher
Age: 32
Bats: Right / Throws: Right
Height: 6-0 / Weight: 212 lbs.
Nickname: BuzzSaw (I gave him this nickname)
How acquired: Signed with Boston in 2021
Contract status: Signed through 2022 (club option for 2023)
2020 Highlights:

*Started season pitching for the Yomiuri Giants, then was dealt to the Chiba Lotte Marines
*Posted 1.71 ERA in second half of NPB season (all with Marines)
*9.1 K per 9 (better than free agents Archie Bradley, Alex Colome, and Mark Melancon)
*Used ‘Sandstorm’ as entrance song to celebrate former Red Sox Closer Koju Uehara

Photo courtesy of

Red Sox Podcast to be Named Player Outlook:

The Japanese reliever has the stuff to get hitters out in the big leagues.  His fastball/splitter combo looks to be really dangerous.  Regardless of when he is deployed, his resume suggests that he will be a valuable member of this Red Sox bullpen.  I mean, the bar was set extremely low by last year’s pen.  Either way, Sawamura is an upgrade to the roster. 
Hirokazu Sawamura was brought in to be a late inning reliever.  Manager Alex Cora has already stated that he is not expected to be the team’s closer.  Only time will tell if what the righty’s role will be in the bullpen. 

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Boston Red Sox 2021 Player Preview: Hirokazu Sawamura
Boston Red Sox 2021 Player Preview: Hirokazu Sawamura
Boston Sports Syndicate
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