On Yu Darvish Part 2
Over 200 people have come to this website seeking information about Yu Darvish in the past two weeks.
Welcome to Darvish-mania.
His shadow is starting to loom over ballparks and fanbases across America. Forum posters use any excuse to weave him into their commentary.
In reading some of these posts, I have found several voices questioning this blog’s stance and so-called ‘scouting report on Yu Darvish.’ They use words like ‘fawning over’ and ‘glowing.’
Yes, I am excited about Yu Darvish’s game, but let me make something clear right now: There is NO GUARANTEE that Yu Darvish will make a dominant major league pitcher.
An elite arsenal of pitches and control are strong pre-requisites of a dominant pitcher, but it is the level of a pitcher’s mental game, that separates the greats from mere hurlers. And there is no scout or statistician in the world who can put an accurate number on the level of Yu Darvish’s game going on underneath his ball cap.
Pitching greatness is a byproduct of physical execution meshed with superior mental ability. A dominant pitcher needs an inner over-confidence to pick themselves back up after any exterior momentary lapses.
A dominant pitcher needs a wild imagination to see unlikely and highly positive results in the face of highly stacked odds.
A dominant pitcher needs an unshakeable mental disposition that shrugs off errors, bad calls and all the other trappings of failure beyond their immediate control. They need a willpower to control every detail of the game they can. Pitch by pitch.
They have to shrink the whole game down to a simplistic, zen-like state, to forget about any distractions such as the score, the next batter, the fans, etc. They need a tenacious ability to channel a sharp tunnel vision on command.
There is no way to know if Yu Darvish possesses any of these mental traits. It’s entirely possible that he is an executional pitching freak, who can dominate batters in the vacuum of Japanese baseball, without ever being mentally challenged on a consistent basis.
Talent alone may be producing these otherworldly numbers that have US scouts salivating on their radar guns.
We will only know about Darvish’s mental game when he is standing on the mound at Yankee stadium, as a Yankee or a visitor. Then we will see what lies between his ears. To see if he can defiantly shut out the media circus and the temperamental and vocal New York fans. If he can shut them out and shut them down with the ferocity of his mind, then his arsenal of pitches will take care of the rest and he will destroy major league batters.
But if the distractions creep into his mind, de-rail his game plan, and amplify the small mistakes, he will be nothing special.
It is up to him to show he is not just some cool and talented dude, bred only to dominate in the northern reaches of Japan, far from the epicenter and mayhem of elite baseball. Untested. Unproven. Unvalidated.
Exam day awaits Yu Darvish.
His pencils are damn sharpened.
Now show us what your mind is made of.