NPB Bullet Points: Offseason Leftovers

» 09 February 2012 » In npb »

Please excuse the randomness of these links — I accumulated them over the offseason but never found the time to post them.

  • Yakult commemorated the retirement of Hirotoshi Ishii with this decorative mobile phone strap. Ishii was once Japan’s top power lefty, but hadn’t pitched above ni-gun for several years due to injuries.
  • In contrast, Softbank power righty (and NPB Tracker favorite) Nagisa Arakaki is on his way back. Arakaki pitched in November’s Asia Series, his first “ichi-gun level” game action in three years.
  • A number of NPB prospects participated in the Australian Baseball League this offseason, and the ABL’s official Twitter stream was kind enough to tweet me with updates on Yusei Kikuchi, Kenta Imamiya, and Takumi Akiyama.
  • I discovered a new blog recently: NPB Prospect Watch. This blog fills a much-needed niche for me and has a very good chance of making it into my regular rotation.

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  1. Patrick
    patrick wilson
    09/02/2012 at 11:21 am Permalink

    Patrick, I wanted to thank you for the tip on the Yakyu-Kozoh february issue… I received the magazine and even if can’t read it much there is a ranking of the top 10 college, industrial and high school prospects… It did cost a little but I’ll recover…

    I was wondering if there is someone over here who could answer some draft questions…

    1-What happened with RHP Tomoya Mikami (Hosei) and C Seiji Kobayashi ((Doshisha) who were supposed to be taken in the 2011 NPB draft?

    2-How many years of high school do players need to do to be eligible? Like for example Shuhei Takahashi was in his 3rd or 4rth year?

    3- All these guys from Nichidai San (Azegami, Yokoo…) are eligible in 2012? 2013?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. Patrick
    09/02/2012 at 7:50 pm Permalink

    I am far from amateur guy, but here are the answers.

    1. Mikami didn’t submit the letter of intent (to go pro) and went to an industrial team. Kobayshi reportedly limited himself to only first round pick and no team picked him, so he also went to an industrial team.

    2. Japanese high schools are three years nation-wide, no skipping a year. To be eligible, a player has to be able to graduate on the (school) year the draft takes place. Shuhei Takahashi is still officially in the third year and supposed to graduate in March, 2012, currently in the Chunichi camp in Okinawa.

    3. All those NichiSan players went to college. They can submit the letter of intent in the graduation (school) year 2015.

  3. Patrick
    patrick Wilson
    09/02/2012 at 10:23 pm Permalink

    I really appreciate! Thanks.

  4. Patrick
    10/02/2012 at 7:06 am Permalink

    It’s a shame the Japanese players don’t stay for the whole ABL season and have to leave midpoint

    Last year, Melbourne had Kamei who absolutely dominated and he pretty much single handily took the team top at Christmas, but once the Kyojin players (Kaneto, Ono, Iyujin, Hashimoto, Kaneto and Kamei) all left, the team slumped

    Yamada did quite well in Brisbane last year

    I saw Kikuchi first hand this year, he did impress in some outings, but the Japanese pitcher who impressed me most was Yanagawa in Brisbane, I must say i didn’t see Akiyama pitch and didn’t really get to see Imamiya play because the only games you can really see are home games and its not really shown on TV.

  5. Patrick
    10/02/2012 at 4:32 pm Permalink

    Let’s see, if Japanese players don’t get paid, they can stay on a tourist (other easy-to-get) visa. But with that kind of visa, they can stay for so many days. Can that be an explanation?

  6. Patrick
    10/02/2012 at 5:17 pm Permalink

    NPB clubs tend to send their players to winter leagues (Puerto Rico and the DR too, not just Australia) for short assignments. Last year Sho Iwasaki’s PR team wanted to keep him for the playoffs, but Softbank called him back.

  7. Patrick
    11/02/2012 at 12:53 am Permalink

    Katayama from Rakuten pitched very well in the ABL too one must not forget

    Yamashita from Softbank did well behind the plate

    I think with winter league in Australia, you would get paid more working at a supermarket, but you do have a mix of players

    You have some like Jason Hirsh who played for Melbourne to test out his shoulder after rehab, you have players like Justin Huber (formerly of the Carp) who is trying to attract some attention from scouts, young players like Dan McGrath who are trying to impress as well and then you have older players who are playing just for the fun of it