More on Tazawa

» 02 September 2008 » In mlb prospects »

Okay Red Sox, Braves, and Orix Buffaloes fans — I did a little more digging on Junichi Tazawa and found some pretty good stuff.

  • Deanna attended Tazawa’s most recent game with Simon and treats us to this game report. If you haven’t checked out Deanna’s and Simon’s blogs, I highly recommend doing so.
  • This YouTube video shows an inning’s worth of work in which Tazawa shows off a 90-93 mph fastball, a 12-6 curve, and a shuuto. Note that his fastball has some movement and he can run it in on righthanded batters. I have no idea about the quality of competition in this game.
  • This much worse amateur video is from a pro-am game versus the Chunichi Dragons. He hits 150 km/h (93mph) on the gun and you can get a sense of the movement on his stuff, but other than that you can’t tell much about how he did. The video is more watchable from about 04:00 in.
  • Here’s a great frame-by-frame look at Tazama’s windup.
  • This Japanese scouting report includes Tazawa’s stats for this season. I’m not going to translate the whole thing but I’ll give you the bottom line: 54 IP, 46 hits, 56 K, 4 BB, 6 ER, 1.00 ERA. Fastest recorded pitch speed is 153 km/h (95.625 mph) according to this.

I’m actually rooting for Tazawa to stay in Japan. I’m an NPB fan and I’d like to the league retain it’s best talent at least for some period of time. But at the same time I think this attention is good. The interest of teams like the Red Sox validates the level of talent in Japan. Also if NPB teams have to compete with MLB teams a little more directly to acquire top amateur talent, it may make them adapt their approaches a bit more quickly, and I think that would be a good thing.


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  1. Patrick
    11/09/2008 at 7:55 am Permalink

    why is a pitcher of this caliber not yet on an NPB team at his “old” age? Thanks.

  2. Patrick
    12/09/2008 at 1:01 pm Permalink

    Not sure why he wasn’t drafted out of high school. He was eligible for the NPB draft last year but chose to remain with his amateur team.

  3. Patrick
    12/09/2008 at 10:18 pm Permalink

    This is an important time in the history of the MLB-NPB relationship. Both sides are going to have to make some adjustments in how they target and manage their players, because once Tazawa signs state-side it will show all other amateur players bypassing NPB is a viable option. Also, there are a good number of MLB clubs in the mix, not just the teams often mentioned in the press.

  4. Patrick
    Kyle Boddy
    14/11/2008 at 9:14 am Permalink

    I wrote a bit about his pitching mechanics on my site, Driveline Mechanics. You can check it out here.

    I sourced your site as well. Thanks for all the hard work!

  5. Patrick
    15/11/2008 at 10:43 am Permalink

    Excellent stuff. Thanks for putting this together.


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