Tag Archive > Hiram Bocachica

Yakult Looking for Offensive Help

» 10 May 2010 » In nichibei, npb » Comments Off

Yakult has struggled so far this season, and is currently occupying last place in the Central League with a weak 13-23-1 record. With a middle of the pack pitching staff (148 runs allowed, 3.57 era), the front office is reportedly looking to upgrade its offense, which has scored a league-low 125 runs, 15 fewer than the 5th-place Hiroshima Carp.

Sponichi says that Yakult is looking at employing a copycat strategy of re-importing a player who has experience playing in Japan. The names Sponichi gives us are Fernando Seguignol, Hiram Bocachica, and Jose Fernandez.

I’m sure that’s a partial list, but I don’t see any of those guys outperforming Aaron Guiel or Jaime D’Antona over the course of the season. D’Antona and Guiel have ugly batting averages at .202 and .233 respectively, but lead the team with 10 and seven home runs, and have decent ops figures of .832 and .749. Both guys need to bring their averages up and D’Antona in particular needs to cut down on his strikeout number, but they’ve both shown to be capable of

If they’re going to go after a guy that the league already knows, why not give Tuffy Rhodes a call? Okay, he’ll have to play the field and he will want more money than they’ll be willing to pay, but he’s been better more recently than any of the guys Sponichi mentions. And he wouldn’t count against the foreign player limit. Or how about Tyrone Woods? Money was an issue for him after his last contract with Chunichi expired, and he hasn’t played since 2008, but he was a fearsome slugger in Japan, and knows the Central League.

If Yakult wanted to give someone new a chance, Mike Hessman is off to a good start with the Mets’ 3A affiliate.

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2009 Foreign Player Rundown

» 11 November 2009 » In npb » 7 Comments

By my count, there were 78 foreign players (including ikusei players) under contract to NPB teams in 2009. Some of them will be back for 2010, others will not. So far, I’ve counted 18 players that will remain with their teams for next year, 36 that are leaving, and 24 that we’re still waiting to hear on.

Despite my best efforts, there is a reasonable probability that I left someone out or have an out-of-date detail. If you spot something of that nature, please leave a comment. On with the show…

Yomiuri

  • Staying: Dicky Gonzales, Wirfin Obispo, Levi Romero, Alex Ramirez, Seung-Yeop Lee, Marc Kroon
  • Gone: Adrian Burnside, Edgardo Alfonzo
  • Unknown: Seth Greisinger, Yi-Hao Lin, Yi-Fan Lee

Ramirez no longer counts against the foreign player limit, which gives the Giants a little extra flexibility. He’s already re-signed on a two-year deal. You have to figure that Obispo and Gonzales will be back, which would only leave two ichi-gun rosters spots available. I would guess that Kroon is more likely to return than Greisinger, and Lee is on his way out. Kroon will have his option picked up, while Lee’s contract doesn’t expire until next season. Greisinger didn’t appear in the Japan Series and it’s possible that he won’t be back. The Giants don’t need much this off season, though we’ll probably see them go after some depth guys.

Chunichi

  • Staying: Wei-Yin Chen, Tony Blanco, Nelson Payano, Maximo Nelson
  • Gone: Tomas de la Rosa, Byung-Gyu Lee
  • Unknown:

Chunichi got outstanding production out Chen and Blanco, and Blanco has already received a new two-year deal. Lee will likely head back to Korea, while de la Rosa will remain with the team in a scouting/advisory capacitiy. Chunichi has been scouting the Dominican and will probably sign some interesting Latin American prospects this winter.

Yakult

  • Staying: Chang Yong Lim
  • Gone: Ricky Barrett
  • Unknown: Hei Chun Lee, Jaime D’Antona, Aaron Guiel

Hanshin

  • Staying: Kai-Wang Cheng
  • Gone: Scott Atchison, Jeff Williams, Kevin Mench, Chris Resop, Aarom Baldiris
  • Unknown: Craig Brazell

Out of this group, only Brazell really contributed anything, and he wants to come back. Hanshin’s search for pitching has already been well-documented, with the Tigers looking to import a starter and two relievers. Hanshin may also try to bring a power-hitting rightfielder to Kansai as well, even if Brazell sticks around.

Hiroshima

  • Staying: Dioni Soriano
  • Gone: Scott Dohmann, Ben Kozlowski, Scott Seabol
  • Unknown: Scott McClain, Colby Lewis, Mike Schultz, Andy Phillips

Hiroshima would like to keep Lewis and Schultz around, but may not be able to, and if the Carp don’t keep Phillips they will have to find a bat to replace him. Hiroshima desperately needs lefthanded pitching, as well. I’m assuming Soriano, who is an ikusei player from the Carp’s Dominican Academy, will get a full year to prove himself.

Yokohama

  • Staying: Stephen Randolph
  • Gone: Tom Mastny, Les Walrond, Dan Johnson, Ryan Glynn
  • Unknown: Wei Chen, Jin Chao Wang

Yokohama is again going to need pitching help, though Randolph’s late-season performance was encouraging. The ‘Stars wave goodbye the rest of this group, though Johnson actually had a decent year aside from a poor batting average, and Walrond looked like he had good enough stuff to last in Japan to me.

Nippon Ham

  • Staying:
  • Gone: Ryan Wing, Luis Jimenez, Jason Botts, Brian Sweeney, Termel Sledge
  • Unknown:

This year’s Pacific League champion didn’t get much production from its foreign lineup outside of Sledge, so it’s no surprise to see this group go. Nippon Ham apparently wanted to keep Sledge, but were too far apart in negotations. They’ll have to find a way to replace his bat in the lineup, and I would expect them to look for pitching depth as well.

Rakuten

  • Staying:
  • Gone: Matt Childers
  • Unknown: Darrell Rasner, Marcus Gwyn, Fernando Seguignol, Todd Linden, Rick Short, On-Yu Lin

Rasner is already under contract for next year, so he’ll be on the payroll but possibly not the roster. Childers is gone after just three appearances with Rakuten’s top team. The rest of the foreign staff had performance issues — Gwyn’s era was pedestrian, Shorts average fell off after years of solid performance, Seguignol looked more like the Orix Seguignol than the Nippon Ham Seguignol, and Linden struck out about one out of every three times to the plate(!). So I could see new manager Marty Brown turning over this whole group. Rakuten could use bullpen help and a big bat to play an infield or outfield corner.

SoftBank

  • Staying: Jose Ortiz, DJ Houlton, Brian Falkenborg, Justin Germano
  • Gone: Kameron Loe, Chris Aguila
  • Unknown: Andrew Touisant

SoftBank got strong contributions from Ortiz, Houlton and Falkenborg, and can reasonably expect more of the same next season. Sadaharu Oh is said to be looking for one more power hitter, to complement Ortiz and supplant aging sluggers Hiroki Kokubo and Nobuhiko Matsunaka. I would expect them to grab a couple of ptichers for depth as well.

Seibu

  • Staying: Min-Che Hsu
  • Gone: Jonah Bayliss, John Wasdin, Hiram Bocachica
  • Unknown: Alex Graman

I’m just taking for granted that Hsu will hang around. He should be shedding his foreign player status one of these years anyway. Graman is probably gone, though he was lights-out in the bullpen when healthy, and I could see him getting another shot. Bayliss was okay for Seibu, so I was a little surprised to see him let go. Seibu will be looking for bullpen help and perhaps a first baseman this offseason. Pete LaForest had been in Seibu’s autumn camp but went home with an injury.

Chiba Lotte

  • Staying
  • Gone: Benny Agbayani, Chase Lambin, Gary Burnham
  • Unknown: Brian Sikorski, Juan Muniz

Agbayani departs after six years in Japan, and I would guess that he’ll retire to a life of scouting. I’ve read that Lotte might offer Sikorski a big pay cut, and thus risk losing him. I don’t expect Lambin or Burnham to be back, though I haven’t seen anything official. Lambin and Burnham won’t be back. Lotte will need a corner infield and outfield bats, and a pitcher or two to round things out.

Orix

  • Staying: Tuffy Rhodes
  • Gone:
  • Unknown: Jon Leicester, Alex Cabrera, Jose Fernandez, Greg LaRocca, Ryan Vogelsong

Rhodes and Cabrera both qualify as native players, so Orix could potentially carry up to six ‘foreign’ players on its active roster. Rhodes will be back, and the Buffaloes are supposedly adding a coaching title to his resume. I think Cabrera will make it back as well. There was speculation on Fernandez when he got hurt was that Orix probably wouldn’t bring him back, but that remains to be seen. I’m guessing Leicester and Vogelsong will be out as well. SoftBank has indicated an interest in LaRocca should he not get another year with Orix.

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Koji Mitsui Released, Likely to Try For MLB

» 08 October 2009 » In mlb prospects, npb » Comments Off

Last year, Seibu Lions lefty Koji Mitsui became a historical footnote when he failed to draw a bid in two consecutive posting attempts in the same offseason. After putting up a 6.23 era in 19 appearances this season, Seibu has released the veteran, and Hochi Sports is suggesting that it’s likely that he’ll try again to catch on with an MLB club. Mitsui might have a better chance at getting a contract without the hurdle of the posting process, but he’s still looking at an uphill battle. Mitsui’s velocity on his fastball didn’t climb much higher than 85 mph this season and was in the low 80’s as of his last appearance.

Other notable players Seibu won’t be bringing back next season include John Wasdin, Hiram Bocachica, and Shinya Okamoto, who was a solid middle reliever for Chunichi for quite a while.

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Offseason Changes: Saitama Seibu Lions

» 01 February 2009 » In npb » 3 Comments

Over the next couple weeks, I’ll be taking a look at player personnel moves made by each NPB this offseason. This series will not cover draftees or impact rookies, only additions and losses of experienced players. The focus will be on foreign players, but notable Japanese players will be included as well.

Coming: John Wasdin, Takayuki Shimizu

Going: Craig Brazell, Matt Kinney

Staying: Hiram Bocachica, Alex Graman, Koji Mitsui

Trending: neutral

Synopsis: very little change for the defending Japan Champions. It was a little bit of a surprise to see Brazell go after hitting 27 homers, but he did have a weak OBP. Shimizu arrives from Yomiuri for cash and should provide some bench/DH depth.

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NPB Bullet Points (2008/11/14)

» 14 November 2008 » In mlb, mlb prospects » 2 Comments

Japanese news from the usual sources for today.

Japanese Articles:


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Hanshin’s Import 2009 Roster

» 05 November 2008 » In nichibei, npb » 5 Comments

Update: Sanspo is reporting that Hanshin also has Rays OF/DH Jonny Gomes on their list, as well Nippon Ham starter Ryan Glynn.

Daily Sports reports the Hanshin Tigers have added a few more names to their offseason shopping list. We already knew about Nelson Cruz, and now the Tigers are looking at Kevin Mench and Jose Bautista, both of whom finished last year with Toronto.

Hanshin is also looking at a couple of foreign players who are already in Japan: Rakuten’s Jose Fernandez, Seibu’s Hiram Bocachica, and Michael Restovich, who was just released by Softbank. Fernandez is the most accomplished hitter of the three, smacking 159 HR with a .293 avg over his six years in Japan, though he is suspect with the glove. Bocachica hit well when he was in the lineup, with 20 HR in 78 games, and he’s always been sound with the glove. Restovich… he’s coming off a bad year and would be a reclaimation project at this point.

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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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NPB Bullet Points (2008/08/11)

» 11 August 2008 » In npb » 3 Comments

Going light on English today, for no particular reason:

Lots of Japanese-language links to share today:

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