NPB Bullet Points: Mulhern, MLB Scouts, Rakuten Fireworks

» 13 July 2011 » In nichibei, npb »

Today’s news and notes from around Japan, with a focus on scouting and player personnel.

  • Daily Sports reports that Seibu is working on signing Ryan Mulhern out of the Mexican League. I had never heard of Mulhern before yesterday, but he’s spent the last two seasons in indy ball and Mexico, and prior to that it looks like he’d mostly been an organizational player. It’s great to see this kind of player get a shot and I wish him the best of luck.
  • Chunichi Sports points out that Ryan Vogelsong is the third non-Japanese player with NPB experience to make an MLB All-Star team. The other two? Cecil Fielder and Alfonso Soriano.
  • Wladimir Balentien’s contract with Yakult includes language that prevents him from moving to another NPB team after the season. Said someone familiar with the situation: “Discussion about foreign players leaving the team or not ended with Chang-Yong Lim last offseason. New players acquired since then have contractual provisions against moving domestically.”
  • Sponichi reports that the Rays, Indians, Astros and Angels had scouts at Hisashi Iwakuma’s most recent rehab start.
  • Hanshin is reportedly looking to acquire Korean slugger Dae-Ho Lee this offseason.
  • The “Big 3” college pitchers – Tomoyuki Sugano, Takahiro Fujioka and Yusuke Nomura – have all disavowed interest in skipping NPB in favor of MLB. The trio had been attracting attention from MLB scouts.
  • MLB scouts from three un-named teams watched Shoji Yoshimoto, who Nikkan Sports called “the Darvish of Shimomachi Shitamachi.”
  • Rakuten will feature fireworks displays after all 13 of it’s home games in August. As an added promotion, 20 families will get to watch the fireworks from the field.
  • In more Rakuten news, the Eagles ni-gun team has it’s own channel. Unfortunately the angle they shoot the games from is almost unwatchable.
  • And now for something completely different: Lotte has stadium and uniform advertising for Nexon this season. I never know what Nexon does, but I happened to find out from this English-language article on Techcrunch.

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  1. Patrick
    13/07/2011 at 9:49 am Permalink
  2. Patrick
    13/07/2011 at 4:59 pm Permalink

    Yeah, Adachi’s not the greatest part of town… and I say that coming from Arakawa.

    Their side of the East Tokyo bracket is kinda loaded though — they’re going to have to get through Teikyo, Shutoku, etc…

    BTW, as far as the “Big 3” thing — there WERE tons of scouts at the 日米大学野球選手権大会, (Heck, the Cary game was probably more scouts than fans!) but I think they were mostly there to watch the USA team? (Like, this was one of the first post-draft showcase events for the sophomores?) The Japanese press was REALLY making a big deal out of Sugano, it was kinda ridiculous, though one of the Yomiuri guys told me it was because Yomiuri sponsored the Japan team and of course they have a special interest in Sugano because of the Hara factor and all. One of the nights I was standing outside the Japan bus talking to some players and we all nearly got knocked over by the posse of media following Sugano, it was kinda crazy 🙂

  3. Patrick
    Ken Dick
    13/07/2011 at 9:11 pm Permalink

    As I figured, that Rakuten channel is only for home farm games. Just checked it on a whim, as the team is playing right now in Toda. Off air.

    The good news is that high school prefectural games are available online and free of charge on We have had action from Chiba, Kanagawa, and Tochigi so far. And as the field narrows, Saitama and Tokyo (and elsewhere?) come online.

    Follow us on Twitter for the channels. You might catch your favorite school on their march to Koshien.

  4. Patrick
    13/07/2011 at 9:56 pm Permalink

    That Twitter account to follow is!/RealKenDick.

  5. Patrick
    14/07/2011 at 6:45 am Permalink

    Too bad the company I work for blocks so I can`t watch any game. I`ll be relying on you guys!

  6. Patrick
    Billy D
    16/07/2011 at 1:52 am Permalink

    The Korean firm Nexon sponsored tons of stuffs. I saw them in nearly ALL motorsports races across Japan.