Archive > 23 October 2009

Nippon Ham vs Rakuten, Game Four

» 23 October 2009 » In Uncategorized » 1 Comment

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Kikuchi Sets Press Conference For 25th

» 23 October 2009 » In mlb prospects, npb draft » 3 Comments

As I uh, tweeted earlier in the day, Yusei Kikuchi has scheduled a press conference for October 25th at 11:00 am JST, just four days prior to the NPB draft.

The most recent reports out of Japan suggest that Kikuchi is going to start his professional career in Japan, but we’ve seen a pattern of Japanese media outlets hearing what they want to hear with regards to the highly-regarded lefty. But Nikkan Sports is usually pretty reliable, and they too have just published a report saying that Kikuchi is staying in Japan. So we’ll see what happens.

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Free Agents: Igarashi, Saburo

» 23 October 2009 » In mlb prospects, nichibei » Comments Off on Free Agents: Igarashi, Saburo

Notes to share about a couple of FA-eligible players:

  • If Ryota Igarashi chooses to make the MLB jump, he’ll do so with agent Arn Tellem on his side. According to the Sponichi report, Igarashi is undecided on what he wants to do, and is also considering moving to another team in Japan. Tellem notably represents Hideki Matsui, and has to date negotiated $73m worth of contracts on his behalf. Igarashi is currently in the States taking in the ALCS.
  • Saburo Ohmura, known by his first name in Japan, is hinting that he’s going to stay put again this offseason. Saburo was eligible for international free agency last year, and announced that he was going to try MLB, but changed his mind and re-signed for one year with Lotte. After posting a career with a .314/.377/.514 slash line and 22 home runs, I thought we might see him take another shot at MLB. Maybe he’ll waffle again this year.

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Pitcher to Pursue MLB Career

» 23 October 2009 » In amateur baseball, mlb prospects, npb draft » 2 Comments

That got your attention, didn’t it? This isn’t about Kikuchi though.

Sanspo is reporting that Aomori University righty Shota Ichinoseki is looking to begin his pro career overseas. Ichinoseki is a rather obscure player; he didn’t have a page on Draft Reports until this news broke, and even Deanna has never mentioned him. There’s no indication that he appears on any NPB team’s list of draft candidates. The 21 year-old student’s fastball tops out at 144 kmph (90mph) and he compliments it five breaking pitches including a slider and a forkball.

Ichinoseki is apparently willing to consider playing independent league ball in the US, and is planning is to travel to Taiwan to work out in front of MLB personnel in November. Sanspo quoted him as saying, “playing overseas is something I can only do now. I want to do it while I can.”

Lost in the furor over guys like Kikuchi and Junichi Tazawa is the fact that for some kids, playing overseas represents an opportunity that is otherwise not available. I hope Ichinoseki gets a chance to play somewhere.


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