New Foreign Players to Watch

» 11 March 2010 » In npb »

I’m suffering from something of writer’s block, so here we go with another list. This we’ll look at new foreign players on my watch list for the upcoming season.

  • Dionys Cesar (IF, Chunichi Dragons): Cesar tore up the Mexican League last year, and the Dragons seem to know what they are doing when it comes to Dominican players (nod to Domingo Martinez). So will lightning strike again? Cesar has put in 16 minor league seasons and spent some time in Taiwan, so it’s nice to see a guy like this get a chance to earn a solid paycheck in Japan.
  • Giancarlo Alvarado (P, Hiroshima Carp): The Carp also have a solid track record with foreign players (props for Erik Schullstrom), and like Cesar, Alvarado is a veteran who has bounced around the minors and independent leagues.
  • Matt Murton (OF, Hanshin Tigers): Murton was on my list, so that makes him an easy pick. He also has the unenviable task of taking over center field from retired star Norihiro Akahoshi, as well as following in failed American Tigers outfielders Shane Spencer, Lew Ford and Kevin Mench.
  • Lee Beom-Ho (IF, SoftBank Hawks) and Kim Tae-Gyun (IF, Chiba Lotte Marines): Honestly I’m not sure what to expect from these guys, as I haven’t seen much Korean baseball aside from the WBC and Asia Series, so that’s a reason look forward to seeing Lee and Kim this season. Kim is certain to get at-bats with the Marines, while Lee will have take turns in SoftBank’s 1B/3B/DH rotation with Jose Ortiz, Hiroki Kokubo and Nobuhiko Matsunaka. Lee had been adamant about wanting to stick at 3rd though. It’s too bad that Kim Dong-Ju didn’t make it to NPB for this season, as he had been trying for years.
  • Chris Bootcheck (P, Yokohama BayStars), Eugolio de la Cruz (P, Yakult Swallows), Juan Morillo (P, Rakuten Golden Eagles): All of these guys have the same profile: good velocity, bad control. But who will be this year’s Marc Kroon, and who will be this year’s Chris Resop?

And with that I’ll turn the floor over to the readers. Who are you looking forward to seeing?

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  1. Patrick
    11/03/2010 at 12:22 pm Permalink

    Not new, but I’m interested to see how Darrell Rasner performs after last year’s disastrous campaign.

  2. Patrick
    11/03/2010 at 7:38 pm Permalink

    Writer’s block? Out of Hunter’s fiasco, some talk about draft emerged in case you haven’t checked.

  3. Patrick
    11/03/2010 at 8:58 pm Permalink

    I think Cesar’s gonna have a good year. I’m glad the Dragons are wise to the talent available in the Caribbean, other NPB teams would be wise to follow suit. I never understand why not; a Japanese team would sign the player and later on selling him to the Majors.

    Good business I think.

  4. Patrick
    11/03/2010 at 10:42 pm Permalink

    Kyle — Rasner looks like he’s in the rotation to open the season. Rakuten has a solid front rotation with Iwakuma, Tanaka and Nagai; if they can get something out of Rasner or Hasebe they should be pretty tough.

    passerby — Writer’s block. Translating news and building lists == easy; stringing together a coherent paragraph == harder. I actually agree with a lot of what Hunter said, but he made some poor word choices.

    Alex — Hiroshima used to do that with some regularity.

  5. Patrick
    12/03/2010 at 6:23 pm Permalink

    Matt Murton would probably have good year over their, the guy is good player as I seen him play last season when colorado triple A team vs Tacoma Rainers and the guy is good hitter and good on defensive.

  6. Patrick
    14/03/2010 at 12:07 am Permalink

    Murton’s pre-season is shaping up well – he’s generating hits regularly and he managed a steal. If he can repeat this regular season he will be successful.

  7. Patrick
    14/03/2010 at 6:10 am Permalink

    Looks like De La Cruz won’t start the season with the big club.