Archive > September 2009

ドミニカ有望選手が日本も視野に

» 30 September 2009 » In amateur baseball, international baseball, mlb prospects » Comments Off

数週間前から発展しているニュースで、関係者によるとドミニカの有望選手であるラファエル・デパウラがプロ生活を日本で開始する事を視野に入れています。デパウラは有望な若手投手として期待されているのですが、MLBが設けている年齢詐称審査により不規則が見つかったため球団側と契約する事が現在では禁じられています

17歳右腕のデパウラは90マイル半ばの直球を持っており、チェンジアップとスライダーを使い分けます。この短いビデオではブレのないフォームが見られ、River Ave Bluesのコメンテーターによってスペイン語から英語へと訳された彼の記事も見られます(もしくは機械的によって訳されたものはこちらで見られます。)ベースボールアメリカのベン・バダラーさんに聞いたところデパウラのプロスペクトとしての評価は、もし17歳以上の年齢だったとしても相当な額の契約を要求できるだろうとの事でした。

ではデパウラにとって日本というのは考えられる選択肢の一つなのでしょうか?外国人選手枠という重要な障害以外には妨げになる理由はないように思います。東洋カープには最近ドミニカン・アカデミーからいくつもの選手が送り込まれましたし、読売ジャイアンツはウィルフィン・オビスポを育成させ成功をおさめています。ヤクルトスワローズは頻繁にブラジルから若い選手を連れてきていますが、残念ながら一軍に定着している選手はいませんが積極的な動きを見せています。そして日本の球団は台湾からの有望な若手に対してはメジャー球団に劣らない魅力を放っています。

この話は菊池雄星選手の状況と対比して注目すべきニュースになりそうです。ここでも十分に目を光らせておきます。

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Hanamaki Higashi Loses, Time for Kikuchi to Decide

» 30 September 2009 » In amateur baseball, mlb prospects, nichibei, npb draft » 2 Comments

Yusei Kikuchi’s Hanamaki Higashi has lost in the Kokutai Tournament, so now it’s time for the coveted young lefty to make what is certainly the biggest decision of his life to this point. Kikuchi has kind of gone back and forth with his decision, and the media has collectively interpreted his words however they’ve wanted to, so we don’t really have any more of an idea what he wants to do they we did a month ago. To me he seems like a normal 18 year-old kid who isn’t quite sure what he wants to do. I’m glad I wasn’t an international media subject when I was 18.

Having said all that, Kikuchi’s manager Hiroshi Sasaki was quoted in Nikkan Sports the other day as saying “I think he’ll make Japan his main choice and listen on the Majors”. Per the above paragraph, I’ll take that with a grain of salt, but there has been some talk of Kikuchi declaring eligible for the NPB draft and still negotiating with MLB teams. I have to think that MLB teams would back off if he gets drafted.

It’s been widely reported in the Japanese media that over 10 MLB teams have watched Kikuchi. I’ve actually kind of lost track of all of them, but the Texas Rangers seem to be among the most interested.The Rangers have been scouting Kikuchi since the spring, and had Asia Pacific scout Jim Colborn present at the Kokutai to watch him. Sponichi quotes Colborn as saying, “this last tournament is ending, and I would definitely liked to ask Sasaki if I could meet with him. For that, we can prepare an offer. Team president Nolan Ryan is of course watching video of him. He also wants Kikuchi to become a member of the Rangers” (translation of a translation). Remember that Texas also had the top dollar offer for Junichi Tazawa last year.

Aside from that, the newest interested party I’ve seen that hasn’t cropped up in the US media yet is the Astros. Sponichi again quotes Ed Wade: “I hear he’s 50/50 on coming to the Majors. If it turns out that he wants to come to the majors, we’d look into acquiring him.”

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Top Dominican Prospect Reportedly Considering Japan

» 30 September 2009 » In mlb prospects, nichibei, npb » 1 Comment

Here’s a developing story: a couple of weeks ago, a baseball source indicated to me that Dominican prospect Rafael Depaula is considering starting his professional career with a Japanese club. Depaula is considered a top prospect, but the rub is that he’s currently barred from signing with an MLB club due to irregularities found in his age investigation.

Depaula, 17, is a righthanded pitcher who compliments a mid-90’s fastball with a change up and slider. A brief video of him shows clean mechanics, and a commentor at River Ave Blues was kind enough to hand-translate a Spanish-language article about him (or you can check out the machine-translation). I asked Ben Badler about Depaula’s status as a prospect, and he confirmed to me that he would command a healthy bonus even if turned out to be older than 17.

So is Japan a viable option for Depaula? Aside from the foreign player limit hurdle (which is significant) I don’t see why not. The Hiroshima Carp have certainly brought a number of guys over from their Dominican Academy, and we’ve seen the Giants have some success developing Wirfin Obispo. Yakult also occasionally bring young players over from Brazil, though we have yet to see any of them really stick with the top team. And we do see NPB teams go toe-to-toe with MLB clubs over top amateur talent from Taiwan.

This story has the potential to become an interesting counter-point to the Yusei Kikuchi situation. We’ll keep an eye on it.

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New Project in Beta: NPB Tracker Data

» 29 September 2009 » In npb, NPB Tracker, pitching » 5 Comments

I’ve interrupted my self-imposed hiatus to launch my Data project into Beta. You can check it out at www.npbtracker.com/data. This is a beta release, so expect more functionality to come over the next few months, and don’t be shy about reporting problems and making suggestions.

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-09-27

» 27 September 2009 » In Uncategorized » Comments Off

  • Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-09-20:
    Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-09-13:
    Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-0.. http://bit.ly/139y0d #
  • Aroldis Chapman moves closer to free agency: http://tinyurl.com/m8xhsk #
  • Rakuten surpasses franchise record wins with Iwakuma (8.0IP, 6H, 2ER, 5BB, 6K) earning 13th win. #
  • Darvish on a different practice menu from the team with back strain: http://tinyurl.com/kn68as #
  • Prime Minister to Throwing First Pitch: The prime minister of Japan, Yukio Hatoyama is throwing the first pitch .. http://bit.ly/2lUbFo #
  • Yomiuri goes for the clincher: http://www.justin.tv/sambamia #
  • Obispo's fastball got him through the Dragons' lineup once, not quite as effective the second time through. _Douge toushu_? #
  • Tokyo Yomiuri Giants 3-peat and wins the Central League with a 5-3 victory over the Chunichi Dragons. #
  • Yu Darvish once again headed to the disabled list with strain in his right shoulder and left hip: http://tinyurl.com/msz9zw #
  • Giants Clinch Central Title, NPB Tracker Takes a Break: Well, the Giants have wrapped up their third straight Ce.. http://bit.ly/CsMpy #
  • Great article: Sox set standard for Japanese players; http://tinyurl.com/n3bz26 #
  • Bobby Valentine returning to television, former MLB skipper reportedly on verge of deal with ESPN: http://tinyurl.com/lwwc3r #
  • Japan Eliminated from the World Cup: Japan ended its run in the 2009 Baseball World Cup finishing 2-5 in the sec.. http://bit.ly/2cIRDM #
  • Yu Darvish: Pitching for Baseball Greatness: As mentioned a couple months ago, Yu Darvish has made his appearan.. http://bit.ly/3N3SoQ #
  • watching Taiwan City Cup Baseball http://www.justin.tv/hellokaitty #
  • Hisanori Takahashi wins his fourth straight outing (7.0IP, 6H, ER, 3BB, 6K)… Season ERA at 3.04. Will he be a player in the FA market? #
  • Takuya Asao the new closer for the Chunichi Dragons? Iwase out with fatigue: http://tinyurl.com/ybg2tqb #

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Yu Darvish: Pitching for Baseball Greatness

» 24 September 2009 » In international baseball, nichibei, npb » 2 Comments

As mentioned a couple months ago, Yu Darvish has made his appearance on CNN and fans are able to watch and read his feature online.  There are three segments to the clip touching on his on-field presence and off-the-field personality. He also answers the question that everybody in the baseball world wants to know, will he come to the Major Leagues?

Japanese players in the States tend to get caught in the midst of cultural and language differences, and their personalities frequently get overlooked. It’s great to see a player of Darvish’s caliber getting exposure outside of his on-the-field performance and fans getting a chance to know his personality. Within the last couple days, there were articles published on the personalities of Japanese players in the American media and it’s nice to see different sides of the players getting exposure in the American media. On that note,  I recommend checking out these articles from the Boston Red Sox website: Sox set standard for Japanese players and from USA Today: Opposites Griffey, Suzuki click, bring glow to ’09 Mariners.

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Japan Eliminated from the World Cup

» 24 September 2009 » In amateur baseball, international baseball, mlb prospects » Comments Off

Japan ended its run in the 2009 Baseball World Cup finishing 2-5 in the second round. The United States remained the only undefeated team in the second round.

  1. vs. Mexico: 9-2, Win
  2. vs. USA: 4-2, Loss
  3. vs. Chinese Taipei: 3-1, Loss
  4. vs. Canada: 3-2, Loss
  5. vs. Italy: 6-4, Loss
  6. vs. Australia, 5-0, Loss
  7. vs. Netherlands Antilles: 10-1, Win

The offensive leader of the second round  was OF Sho Aranami (Toyota) hitting .429 (6-14) with two doubles, five walks, and four runs scored playing in six games with four starts. He ranked 2nd in the second round with a .579 on-base-percentage. OF Ikuhiro Kiyota started in all seven games averaging .414 (12-29) with two doubles, HR, 5RBI, 3BB and 5R. He finished with the second most hits in the entire round.

The pitching remained consistent for Japan in the second round posting a 2.98ERA in seven games. The pitching staff of Japan struck out the most in the second round with 80. They held the opponents to .191 batting average. The defense showed their discipline with only three errors, the least in the round in seven games. RHP Tomohisa Ohtani (Toyota) was impressive with a 0.71ERA throwing 12.2 innings and allowing eight hits, a run and a walk with 12 strikeouts. LHP Atsushi Tanaka (Panasonic) ranked 2nd with 16 strikeouts posting a 2.38ERA in 11.1 innings pitched.

The tournament will continue with eight teams remaining and the schedule can be seen here.

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Giants Clinch Central Title, NPB Tracker Takes a Break

» 23 September 2009 » In npb » 3 Comments

Well, the Giants have wrapped up their third straight Central League title, their first three-peat since the fabled V9 team of the 60’s and early 70’s. I watched the first five innings of the game, and Wirfin Obispo looked alright, though the Dragons managed to get to him after they adjusted to his fastball. You can check out archived footage of the final out and celebration on justin.tv.

In other news, the recent lack of activity on this site should be pretty apparent by now. My day job has kept me pretty insanely occupied over the last week or so, and I don’t expect it to let up for another couple weeks. But I promise that I will be back with some interesting stuff in the short term. In the meantime, we are keeping Twitter up to date with all the latest NPB news.

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Prime Minister to Throw Out First Pitch

» 22 September 2009 » In international baseball, nichibei » Comments Off

The prime minister of Japan, Yukio Hatoyama is throwing the first pitch in Pittsburgh before he gets down to business at the Pittsburgh G-20 Summit.

Preparing to throw a strike right down the pipe, he has been practicing with former Pittsburgh Pirate Masumi Kuwata. The prime minister received a baseball cap and jersey from Kuwata and started warming up. After the meeting, Hatoyama stated, “I appreciate the opportunity to play catch with the world’s Kuwata. Good things happen when you’re the prime minister.” This gives you an idea what type of icon Masumi Kuwata has been in the baseball world in Japan.

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-09-20

» 20 September 2009 » In Uncategorized » Comments Off

  • Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-09-13:
    Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-09-06:
    Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-0.. http://bit.ly/14fbyO #
  • Hideki Irabu asks release from his contract due to injury: http://bit.ly/13sA9o #
  • NPB Bullet Points: Sugiuchi v Darvish, Irabu Done in Kochi: As the end of the season approaches, we learn who wi.. http://bit.ly/CERsm #
  • Kikuchi Rocks the Draft: Yusei Kikuchi’s impending decision is something that the baseball world in not on.. http://bit.ly/4efAET #
  • Japan-Korea Club Championship: Starting from 2005, the Asia Series was once thought to be the next big tournamen.. http://bit.ly/4ajh80 #
  • NPB Bullet Points: Nichibei Special: Another Japanese only edition, this time focusing on US-Japan player movmen.. http://bit.ly/zh9dH #
  • First loss in the 2nd half for Iwakuma… 6.0IP, 9H, 5ER (2HR), 3BB with 6K for a total of 110 pitches. #
  • Lim activated and Igarashi pitches a perfect inning against the Baystars… The bullpen is set for the final playoff push. #
  • New Pacific League record for appearances as a rookie established by Tadashi Settsu (Softbank) coming in his 63rd game from the bullpen. #
  • United States defeat Japan, 4-2, in the 2009 Baseball World Cup: http://competition.baseballeurope.com/2009/world/games/048.htm #
  • So Taguchi returns to the MLB stage with the Chicago Cubs: http://tinyurl.com/lbtwqo #
  • It's not over for Keichi Yabu as he plans to return next season: http://www.sponichi.co.jp/baseball/news/2009/09/17/15.html #
  • Ichiro's jersey headed to the Hall of Fame: http://bit.ly/9VunO #
  • Obispo strikes out four batters in an inning. Only the 13th time in the history of NPB that has happened. #
  • Red Sox haze Tazawa; he seems alright with it: http://bit.ly/NvW8V #
  • What will Hideki Matsui's value be in the off-season? http://bit.ly/7PYxm #
  • NPB Bullet Points: Saito Backs Kikuchi, Sponichi Now for Kids Too: It’s been one of those weeks, but the w.. http://bit.ly/3wyFt #
  • Giant Development, Yankee Influence: The web edition of the sports magazine Number featured a great article on t.. http://bit.ly/10l8gT #
  • Shortest outing this season for Yu Darvish struggling with his command: (5.0IP, 2H, 7BB, 2ER, K)… Season ERA at 1.73. #
  • Second player in the history of NPB to strike-out double-digit in five straight games: Toshiya Sugiuchi (6.2IP, 9H, 2BB, 5ER, 10K). #
  • Former Major Leaguer Satoru Komiyama decides to retire: http://bit.ly/4EQDVv #

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