Seibu Lions win rights for 18-year-old LHP Kikuchi
The Seibu Lions of Japan's Pacific League have won the right to negotiate with highly sought after high school pitcher Yusei Kikuchi. The 18-year-old left-hander, who drew interest from several major league teams but opted to stay in Japan, was selected by six out of Japan's 12 professional teams in Thursday's amateur draft. The Lions won the right to negotiate with Kikuchi through a lottery. "The Lions won the Japan Series last year and have a lot of great pitchers," said Kikuchi, who boasts a 96 mph fastball. Eight major league teams, including the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, held talks with Kikuchi in Japan earlier this month.