Saint Louis alum Yamamoto begins MLB spring training with Marlins

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Major League Baseball’s spring training is underway this week in both Florida and Arizona.

All 30 teams have opened “Big League” camp with games starting on Friday.

In total, 11 players who were born, raised, or played collegiately in Hawaii were invited to spring training.

Three of those players are non-roster invitees, which is a golden opportunity for minor leaguers to speed up the road to the show.

Jordan Yamamoto is among the prospects in that position. The Saint Louis graduate was a Class-A advanced starting pitcher with the Brewers last season. He was selected by Milwaukee in the 12th round out of Saint Louis in the 2014 MLB draft.

Yamamoto was traded four weeks ago to the Miami Marlins in a deal for Gold Glove and Silver Slugger award winner Christian Yelich.

It was one of a flurry of trades for the rebuilding Marlins, which included a deal that sent reigning National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton to the New York Yankees.

“I’m very excited for a new opportunity,” Yamamoto said. “Having, like you said, a rebuilding. It’s going to be a fun opportunity. I’ve gotten from both sides, from the Brewers and the Marlins, saying that I have a really good opportunity with them, with the Marlins, and I just can’t thank them enough.”

Yamamoto was electric with the Carolina Mudcats in 2017, compiling a 9-4 record with 113 strikeouts in 111 innings pitched with a 2.51 ERA, which lead the Carolina League. His walks plus hits per innings pitched (WHIP) ranked third in the league at 1.09.

“It’s a good confidence booster, but at the same time, I’m going to stay humble, keep my head down, and just keep doing what I’ve been doing for the past four years,” Yamamoto said. “I’m not going to go out there and be someone that I’m not and try and overpower people. I’m not a power pitcher. Just doing what I need to do and staying focused and in myself will be good enough.”

The 21-year-old former Crusader and his Marlins will open their Grapefruit League schedule Friday against Wong, Garcia, and the Cardinals.

The game will be shown on delay at 6 p.m. HST on the MLB Network.

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