Tag Archive > Akihiro Higashide

Awards Announced

» 18 November 2009 » In npb » 1 Comment

The 2009 season is in the books, and the MVPs go to Yu Darvish in the Pacific League, with Alex Ramirez receiving the honor for the Central League. Darvish earns the award for the second time in his career and Ramirez obtains the award for the second straight season.

The Rookie of the Year award is received by Tokyo Yomiuri Giants outfielder Testuya Matsumoto, the first time in 51 years that two players from the same team received the RoY in consecutive years (Giants reliever Tetsuya Yamaguchi took the prize last year). The Pacific League award goes to reliever Tadashi Settsu of the Softbank Hawks.

The Best Nine Awards have also been announced and the winners are as follows:

Central Pacific
P Dicky Gonzalez Yu Darvish
CA Shinnosuke Abe Hidenori Tanoue
1B Tony Blanco Shinji Takahashi
2B Akihiro Higashide Kensuke Tanaka
3B Michihiro Ogasawara Takeya Nakamura
SS Hayato Sakamoto Hiroyuki Nakajima
OF Seiichi Uchikawa Teppei
OF Norichika Aoki Yoshio Itoi
OF Alex Ramirez Atsunori Inaba
DH Takeshi Yamazaki

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Offseason Changes: Hiroshima Carp

» 08 February 2009 » In npb » Comments Off

Coming: Takuro Ishii, Scott Dohmann, Mazda Stadium

Going: Alex Ochoa, Jim Brower, Shigeru Morikasa, Ken Takahashi, Victor Marte

Staying: Colby Lewis, Ben Kozloski, Scott Seabol, Mike Shultz, Akihiro Higashide, manager Marty Brown

Trending: slightly downward

Synopsis: Renewing the contracts of ace Lewis and manager Brown were the biggest moves the Carp made. Losing Takahashi to the majors hurts the team’s pitching depth, but someone should be able to step into his shoes. Hiroshima hasn’t added any major pieces but with the continuing improvement of the team’s young players, they should be ready to challenge Chunichi for the third and final playoff spot. Marte is a guy who came up through the Carp’s Dominican Academy who will now look to catch on with an MLB organization. Not sure who is going to replace Ochoa’s production.

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A Few More Names To Watch

» 23 October 2008 » In mlb prospects, npb » 1 Comment

Misc updates on other NPB free agents. Some of these guys are already on my list, others will be added in the next day or two.

On with the updates…

Tyrone Woods (1B, Chunichi Dragons): Yahoo (via Daily Sports) reported that Tyrone Woods is going to leave Chunichi after the season ends. Woods put up another strong season in the Central League despite turning 39 in August, and should attract plenty of interest around NPB if he chooses to stay. I could see him moving to MLB too — if Darryl Ward can stick for the whole year on the 97-game winning Cubs, I have to think there’s a place for Woods somewhere.

Hiram Bocachica (OF, Saitama Seibu Lions): Like most foreign players in Japan, Bocachica is playing for Seibu on a one-year contract. Though he played only 78 games, Bocachica hit a surprising 20 home runs this season. This blogger wants his Marines to go after him this offseason, but Hiram told Deanna that he wasn’t sure about staying in NPB.

Ken Takahashi (SP, Hiroshima Carp): Takahashi is coming off a resurgent season with Carp, and there’s a chance he’ll opt for free agency. It looks like teammate Hiroki Kuroda inspired this “I’m interested in seeing what American baseball is like. The image of Kuroda has had a big impact. I’m struggling (with the decision)”. Takahashi is a lifelong Carp and 40 at the beginning of next season. I think it’s either Hiroshima or America for him.

Colby Lewis (SP, Hiroshima Carp): Lewis put up a great year for the Carp, and has already re-signed and should be Hiroshima’s opening day starter next year.

Akihiro Higashide (2B, Hiroshima Carp): Higashide is still undecided about opting for free agency. Yokohama is showing interest.

Hiroshi Shibahara (CF, Softbank Hawks): Sponichi reported last week that Rakuten is targetting Shibahara as the first free agent acquisition in the team’s four year history. Shibahara is still a useful player and would fill a veteran role for the team.

Ryoji Aikawa (C, Yokohama BayStars): Aikawa has already announced his intent to declare free agency, with a move to MLB a possibility. He’s taken in some MLB playoff action and intends to participate in tryouts as a winter league invitee, but I don’t see him getting more than a minor league contract. Back in NPB, Yakult is interested in acquiring Aikawa to fill starting catcher role that no one has claimed since the retirement of the great Atsuya Furuta.

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Impending NPB Free Agents

» 12 August 2008 » In mlb prospects, npb » 4 Comments

I’ve written a lot about the top three free agents coming out of NPB after this season, but there are several other lesser names that have been in the news as well. A thread on JapaneseBaseball.com listing a few has made the rounds to EastWindupChronicle and MLB Trade Rumors, and I’ve done some research and found a couple of other guys that have qualified since that list was published. Some of these players qualify under new rules that shorten the amount of service time required to attain free agency.

Fortunately the Japanese media doesn’t shy away from jumping the gun and speculating so let the hot-stove fun begin.

Tomohiro Nioka (INF, Yomiuri Giants): I’m not sure if Nioka will rack up the service time he needs to move internationally by the end of the season. He’s gotten some negative publicity over his extra-marital flirtation with a TV newscaster this season, so the Giants may be ready to move on from him.

Masahiro Araki (2B, Chunichi Dragons): Araki has hinted at trying the free agent market, but I would be surprised if he signed elsewhere.

Hirokazu Ibata (SS, Chunichi Dragons): Nikkei Sports reports that Ibata will remain with Chunichi and “has no interest in filing for free agency.”

Ryoji Aikawa (C, Yokohama BayStars): I don’t see him leaving Yokohama. Haven’t had much luck in finding media reports on his free agency.

Tatsuhiko Kinjoh (CF, Yokohama BayStars): According to Sponichi, Kinjoh is not planning on declaring free agency and will stay with the BayStars, at least for another year.

Naoyuki Ohmura (CF, Softbank Hawks): Ohmura has stated publicly that he wants to try his hand at MLB. “I want to go,” says Ohmura, “life is short and you only get one chance at it.” Ohmura is a contact hitter with zero power. He can probably start for an NPB team that gets power from other positions, or be possibly be a 4th outfielder type in MLB. Think So Taguchi.

Ryota Igarashi (RP, Yakult Swallows): The hard-throwing reliever will carefully think over his options in the off-season. He’s eligible for domestic free agency, and he’s in his first year back from Tommy John surgery.

Akihiro Higashide (2B, Hiroshima Carp): Higashide made some comments that you don’t typically hear from Japanese players: “I’ve worked hard to reach free agency. This is the result of year after year of fighting to be my best. I have to put good results in this kind of year.” True to his words, Higashide is in the midst of a break-out season, third in the Central League with a .334 BA (career BA: .255). It looks like he’s qualified for domestic free agency; there is speculation that he could draw interest from Hanshin, Yomiuri, and Chunichi. I would hate to see Hiroshima lose yet another star.

Norihiro Nakamura (3B, Chunichi Dragons): “Not interested in other teams were his exact words. Has had two MLB flirtations and drama at Kintetsu/Orix before finally settling into a groove with Chunichi. I can’t see him anywhere else.

Masafumi Hirai (RP, Chunichi Dragons): Qualified for free agency last year, but elected to sign a one year contract with Chunichi. Having a bad season. Kind of an MLB sleeper type.

Atsunori Inaba (OF, Nippon Ham Fighters): Inaba’s contract is up, but he’s unlikely to move.

Daisuke Miura (SP, Yokohama BayStars): Miura is finishing up a six-year contract with Yokohama. Hanshin is already gearing up to make a play for him.

Kim Dong-Ju (3B, Doosan (Korea)): Orix is looking at Kim as their third baseman for next year. EastWindup Chronicle has his numbers and some analysis.

Most of these guys will probably stay put — such is free agency in NPB. But with a the new free agency rules and an uptick in trades, there is certainly more potential for movement than there has been in the past.

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