Yet another trade acquisition, Yamamoto joined the Marlins in the infamous Christian Yelich deal with the Milwaukee Brewers in early 2018. At the time considered by many to be a “throw-in,” Yamamoto has shown he may be the diamond in the rough. Along with Yamamoto, the Marlins gained Lewis Brinson, Isan Diaz, and Monte Harrison, a trio of toolsy but flawed hitters.
After a strong 2018 minor league campaign that saw Yamamoto post a 1.83 ERA over 13 starts, with 85 strikeouts in 68 2/3 innings, the Marlins saw fit to start him with the Jumbo Shrimp in 2019.
A Pearl City, HI native, the six-foot right-hander is still just 23-years-old, and made his major league debut in June of last season. Yamamoto made 15 starts at the major league level for the Marlins, and didn’t allow more than four hits until his ninth start for the team. In fact, over his first two starts, he allowed only five hits and struck out 12 in 14 shutout innings as the Marlins defeated the Cardinals twice, 9-0 and 6-0.
In Yamamoto’s final start of the campaign, on September 26th, he whiffed a career-best 10 over six one-hit innings, surrendering three walks and no runs in an eventual 4-2 win against the Mets. He ended up at 4-5 with a 4.46 ERA, a rotation-best 1.144 WHIP, and 82 K’s in 78 2/3 innings.
Yamamoto is the probable number four starter, but things can get interesting in Spring Training.