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‘He can be a frontline starter.’ Yoshinobu Yamamoto flashing his star potential

Mookie Betts smiled and enthusiastically clapped his hands. Catcher Will Smith removed his mask and gave a nod of approval. Freddie Freeman raised his eyebrows and exhaled in amazement.

“That,” Freeman said, “was incredible.”

Each of the reactions were in response to Yoshinobu Yamamoto, the Dodgers’ new $325 million Japanese star who threw his first live batting practice of the spring Saturday morning.

As advertised, the 25-year-old right-hander displayed pinpoint command, pounding batters with fastballs and breaking pitches to either side of the plate.

He flashed notable velocity, telling reporters his fastball was sitting around 96 mph in his 27-pitch session.