Archive > 30 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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