Japan league drafts 16-year-old girl
Knuckleballer picked by new independent Japanese League
Eri Yoshida, a 16-year-old schoolgirl who wants to emulate Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, is bidding to become the first female pro baseball player in Japan.
The high school student was drafted on Sunday by the Kobe 9 Cruise, a pro team in a new independent Japanese League set to begin its inaugural season in April. On Monday, the right-handed knuckleballer met with reporters in Tokyo.
"I always dreamed of becoming a professional," Yoshida said at the news conference. "I have only just been picked by the team and have not achieved anything yet."
Yoshida threw a hitless inning in a tryout and was one of 33 players taken in the draft. She stands five feet tall and weighs 114 pounds.
Jim Molony is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.