Archive > 27 October 2008

Kawakami Hires an Agent

» 27 October 2008 » In mlb prospects » Comments Off

Daily Sports is reporting that Kenshin Kawakami has hired American agent Tony Attanasio, with an eye toward MLB. Attanasio is notable in NPB circles for representing Ichiro. 

Kawakami’s move to MLB has been something of a forgone conclusion, but it’s inching closer to becoming a reality. Chunichi sealed the deal for themselves by reportedly offering Kawakami a 4 year deal that included a pay cut. The rationale was apparently that he failed to win in the second half of the season. I find it incredibly hard to believe that the Dragons would do such a thing, unless they are intentionally pushing him away.

The same article I linked to above notes that several MLB teams are interested in Kawakami, with the Red Sox named specifically. The article speculates that Kawakami could fulfill a swingman role for Boston, with Mike Timlin retiring and Justin Masterson taking some turns in the rotation. Kawakami was also scouted by numerous MLB teams during the Olympics and Playoffs.

The East Windup Chronicle covered Kawakami along with some others a few months ago, and Kawakami’s 2008 stats can be found in English at JapaneseBallPlayers.com.

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Draft Storylines: Yamarin, Doue

» 27 October 2008 » In npb draft » 1 Comment

A couple of notes on the upcoming draft to pass along…

  • Yoshinori Yamarin is an 18-year old pitcher who wants to go pro in Japan, but has a move across the Pacific in his sites should he not be drafted. And if he isn’t drafted, the Braves are said to be ready to move to sign him. Yamarin is a lanky 6’1, 176 lbs, and has done well in pre-draft workouts. He’s reportedly hit 91 mph with his fastball, and also throws a slider. It doesn’t seem like he’s among the elite group of pitching prospects in this year’s draft, but given the potential of losing him to an MLB organization I wonder if an NPB team will select him just based on potential. 
  • Remember Hayato Doue? He was the Shikoku Island League catcher who nearly signed a minor league deal with the Boston Red Sox last off-season, only to have his visa application denied. He wound up going back to the Island League and having a decent season for the Kagawa Olive Guynors. SoftBank has him shortlisted for a pick as an instructional player. It seems like it would be a good move; the Hawks have been weak behind the plate since Kenji Johjima left.

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