Yomiuri Giants right handed Thyago Vieira Attracts Major League Club Interest As Off Season Approaches, Mark Feinsand. from MLB.com tweets. The flame-throwing right-handed player appeared in parts of three major league seasons with the Mariners and White Sox from 2017 to 2019 before signing overseas in Japan.
For Vieira, 28, things went well in Nippon Professional Baseball. He has completed 80 innings of the Giants’ bullpen over the past two seasons, recording a combined 3.04 ERA with a 26.9% strikeout rate and a 12.4% walk rate.
Vieira averaged 97 mph on his heater during his brief run in the big league and has the ability to hit three-digit numbers with that fastball – a playing field that in his perspective reports at FanGraphs and MLB.com 80 marks on the 20-80 scouting scale days scored. He doesn’t seem to have lost a life on the pitch as Vieira reached 166 kilometers per hour with this pitch earlier this year (YouTube link). Vieira has also been praised for an above-average breakball in the past, but leading (or lack of it) has generally been problematic. He went down 11.2% of his MLB opponents and 11% of the batter he faced in Triple-A.
Based on his previous work in the NPB, the same command issues still exist, but the appeal of this giant fastball and some high quality run prevention numbers in Japan still seems to have attracted some interest. Feinsand suggests that up to five MLB teams be interested, although the level of that interest certainly varies.
The upcoming offseason offers a relatively thin market for right-handers. Raisel Iglesias is the clear top name available, with pitchers like Kendall Graveman, Corey gag, Ryan Tepera and Mark Melancon form the second stage. Vieira would have the best fastball of any Reliever on the market, but it remains to be seen whether the interest will be enough to return from Japan. Given his success in the NPB, he would certainly have some guaranteed offers to stay abroad so a big league club would probably have to make a decent offer for a major league contract.