2009 Draft: First Round Preview

» 28 October 2009 » In NPB Tracker »

The NPB draft is tomorrow, and no shock here, but Yusei Kikuchi will be the story of the first round. So far seven teams have announced an intent to select Kikuchi in the first round. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Yokohama: Yoshitomo Tsutsugo
  • Hiroshima: Takeru Imamura
  • Hanshin: Kikuchi
  • Yakult: Kikuchi
  • Chunichi: Kikuchi
  • Yomiuri: Hisayoshi Chono
  • Orix: unannounced (Kikuchi)
  • Chiba Lotte: Kikuchi
  • Seibu: Kikuchi
  • SoftBank: unannounced (Kikuchi)
  • Rakuten: Kikuchi
  • Nippon Ham: Kikuchi

SoftBank has been very quiet on Kikuchi, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them sneak up on Hiroshima and pick Imamura instead of trying their luck on Kikuchi. Orix has talked quite a bit about Kikuchi and I do think they’ll pick him. In any event Kikuchi has a realistic shot at breaking Hideo Nomo’s record of being selected by eight teams in the draft. But when he’s selected, there will still be a number of good prospects on the table, so we should see multiple drawings.

For a refresher on how it works, please see our primer on the NPB draft.

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  1. Patrick
    29/10/2009 at 12:20 am Permalink

    only 6 went for it

    seibu wins lotto-kikuchi

  2. Patrick
    29/10/2009 at 12:31 am Permalink

    Woohoo, Seibu gets Kikuchi! Hopefully he won’t wilt under the what’s sure to be Matsuzaka-esque pressure that’s on him. Thinking about their respective pitching staff, I would’ve preferred him going to Yakult tho, I guess.

    Anyways, the NPB draft’s 1st round is rigged(?) towards the teams that finish high in the standings. They can take a flyer on a super rookie like Kikuchi, and if they don’t win the lottery, they can still pick their #5 or #6 player on their draft list or whatever. But for teams at the bottom of the standings, if they gamble and lose out on the lottery, they’ll likely have their #2-4 picks on their list already picked off by other teams who didn’t go the lottery route. Doesn’t really help in creating parity does it?

  3. Patrick
    29/10/2009 at 1:00 am Permalink

    Simon, either way uncapped leagues with lots of outside resources available to those with the money to invest don’t have much parity to start with.

    I must say this little poker game adds some interest to the whole thing and ensure no one goes for last place (though I have my doubts that would be compatible with japanese pride anyway)

    I don’t know much yet about tigers first rounder, but his name is just too awesome.

  4. Patrick
    29/10/2009 at 2:19 am Permalink

    Good point regarding the unfairness of the draft system, but, really, what’s the advantage of a player like Kikuchi going to a crap team like Yokohama or Orix that doesn’t know how to develop players and doesn’t even care about winning?

    As for Kikuchi, I wish Ham could have gotten him but at least he isn’t going to be a Giant. That’s the most important thing.