Archive > 31 October 2009

Indians to Sign College Righty Nakamura

» 31 October 2009 » In mlb prospects, nichibei » 5 Comments

Sponichi is reporting that the Indians have agreed to a minor-league contract with Chuo University righthander Takafumi Nakamura.

Nakamura wasn’t a high-profile draft prospect, so I headed over to Draft Reports to get the scoop on him. Nakamura has got a big frame at 195 cm, 89kg (6’5, 195lbs), and throws from a three-quarter delivery. His heater tops out on the gun at 149 km/h (92mph), but he mostly sits at about 140 km/h (86 mph) with both his fastball and slider. He also has a curve, forkball, and shuuto. Looking at his stats, he shown an ability to strike his college competition out, but walks have been an issue.

Sponichi says that the Indians’ goal is to get him in shape in Rookie Ball, and then give him a look at Single-A after a couple of months. An official contract is expected in November.

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1994 Nippon Series

» 31 October 2009 » In npb » 3 Comments

I stumbled across this clip a while ago, and normally I wouldn’t post it, but there’s a personal back story and with this year’s Nippon Series about to start, it seems like a good time.

1994 was the year the MLB players’ strike canceled the World Series, which I especially hated because my team, the Chicago White Sox, was in the middle of a great season and I fully expected to see them reach the Series. Chicago doesn’t win in baseball very often, and I felt like we were getting screwed out of the best team that had come along to that point in my lifetime.

So with no World Series, Chicago’s local cable sports station, SportsChannel, broadcast the Japan Series on tape delay, with the games called by Hawk and Wimpy. To that point, just about everything I knew about Japan came by way of Nintendo, and Japanese baseball was something new to me. It was familiar but different, it kind of looked like the SF Giants playing the KC Royals. The only players I knew were Dan Gladden and Mike Pagliarulo, though Henry Cotto also appears in this clip.

So this is what piqued my interest in Japanese baseball, but I didn’t really get into it permanently until 2000, when I went I went to Japan as an exchange student. And of course the White Sox won the World Series in 2005, which made up for the missed opportunity in ’94.

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