Land of the rising stars

Daisuke Matsuzaka, a 23-year-old power pitcher, tops the list of players in Japan with potential big-league ability.

Originally Published: November 24, 2003
By Mai Yoshikawa | Special to ESPN.com

While a player is eligible to become a free agent with at least six years of experience in Major League Baseball, a player must be registered on the top-team roster for nine seasons (with one season equivalent to 150 days or more) in Japanese baseball.

If a Japanese player belonging to a professional team wants to make the move to the majors, he must wait until he can file for free agency or be put up for auction under the posting system, which sent Ichiro Suzuki to the Seattle Mariners ...

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