Why Japanese Fans Can’t Get Enough of Trevor Bauer

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Former major league pitcher Trevor Bauer recently made his debut with the Yokohama DeNA BayStars’ minor league team in Yokosuka, Japan. Despite being shunned by major league clubs in the U.S. due to domestic violence allegations, Bauer delivered a stellar performance, allowing no runs and striking out six in four innings while allowing just four hits.

Bauer, who won the 2020 Cy Young Award, is trying to prove himself in Japan, hoping to return to the majors. He was suspended for a record-breaking 324 games by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred for violating the league’s domestic violence and sexual assault policy, but an arbitrator reduced the suspension. Bauer maintains his innocence, saying everything that happened between him and the woman was consensual, and he was never charged with a crime.

Trevor Bauer Japanese Baseball Contract Details

Bauer signed a one-year contract with the Yokohama DeNA BayStars of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball League, according to the team’s announcement in March 2023. The one-year deal, worth ¥400 million (~$3 million USD) plus incentives, came after Bauer was released by the Los Angeles Dodgers in January and went unsigned during MLB free agency.

In a statement, Bauer expressed his excitement about playing for the Yokohama DeNA BayStars and fulfilling his dream of playing in the Japanese professional baseball world.

He also praised the team, saying, “As a team, I don’t think there is a better team than the BayStars. I am very happy to have the opportunity to become a member of a wonderful team and aim for the championship together.

Bauer’s signing with the Yokohama DeNA BayStars will mark his first professional baseball experience outside of the United States.

Bauer Well Received and Breaking Records in Japan

Bauer’s popularity seems to be rising, and he has a passionate fan base. Despite the controversy surrounding Bauer, fans in Japan seem unfazed. Hundreds lined up outside the stadium after the game, hoping for a glimpse of the former Dodgers pitcher for an autograph.

Dozens wore his BayStars jersey with his number 96. Bauer mentioned that he chose that number because of his goal to average 96 miles per hour on his fastball.

Bauer said on his latest Youtube video that his jerseys on the official Yokohama DeNA BayStars team website are mostly sold out.

YouTube video

Bauer’s first game in Japan was a minor league game with a packed crowd of about 2,600 fans and over 77,000 concurrent viewers on the live stream, the most ever for a minor league game in Japan. The team said that the live stream audience was about 15 times more than the usual 5,000.

Trevor Bauer’s Social Media Presence

One of the reasons for Bauer’s popularity has to do with his active Youtube account, where he documents his life as a big leaguer. He has over 580k followers on Youtube.

Bauer’s YouTube video “Arriving at My Brand New Team in Japan” surpassed 1.1 million views, and “My First Game in Japan Broke Records” reached 986,000 views and made it onto YouTube trending.

Starting For Yokohama BayStars

Bauer is unsure when he will be ready to start for the Yokohama BayStars, but he will likely get another minor league start before playing for the big league club. He said he felt 100% during his debut and that he has stayed ready despite not pitching in a competitive game since 2021.

Is Trevor Bauer playing in Japan’s minor league baseball?

Trevor Bauer signed with the Yokohama DeNA BayStars. He is currently playing in the minors to build up his stamina and ready himself for the big league club.

The Yokohama DeNA BayStars are a professional baseball team based in Yokohama, Japan, and they compete in the Central League of the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) organization. The Central League and Pacific League each have six teams. The Yokohama DeNA BayStars are one of the six teams in the Central League.

Why is Trevor Bauer playing in Japan?

Bauer is playing in Japan after being shunned by major league clubs due to domestic violence allegations. He is hoping to prove himself and potentially make a return to the majors.

How did Bauer perform in his Japanese debut?

Bauer allowed no runs and struck out six in four innings while allowing just four hits. The game drew a crowd of 2,600 fans, with live-streaming views reaching 77,000 – 15 times more than the usual 5,000.

How have fans in Japan reacted to Bauer’s past controversy?

Fans in Japan seem unconcerned by Bauer’s past domestic violence allegations. Hundreds lined up outside the stadium after the game, hoping for a glimpse of the former Dodgers pitcher or an autograph.

What is Bauer’s goal for his average fastball velocity?

Bauer’s goal for his average fastball velocity is 96 miles per hour. This is why he chose to wear the number 96 on his BayStars jersey.

Will Bauer be able to return to the majors after playing in Japan?

Bauer’s one-year deal with the Yokohama DeNA BayStars could potentially lead to him proving himself and making a return to the majors. However, it remains to be seen whether or not he will be able to overcome the controversy surrounding him and find a team willing to sign him.

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