Tag Archive > Mike Hessman

2010 Foreign Player Candidates

» 12 November 2009 » In nichibei, npb » 3 Comments

There’s always a high turnover among foreign players in Japan. This year will be no different, with 30+ players already gone from their 2009 employers. By the end of next season, we’ll have seen 35-45 new players in Japan.

Like most years, the biggest needs around the league are corner outfielders, pitchers, and first basemen. There will be a couple third base and DH spots open as well.

This is mostly my own speculation. Some of the names came out of the Japanese media, but many have not, so take this list with a grain of salt.

Possible Returnees

  • CJ Nitkowski – seemed like he had a deal to go back to Japan before Doosan snapped him up off waivers from SK
  • Rick Guttormson – Orix is looking at bringing Gutto back from Korea; has an NPB no-hitter to his name
  • Brad Thomas – Thomas has spent the last year or two in Korea, is on Hanshin’s list
  • Gary Glover – Yet another NPB vet in Korea, Glover had previously pitched for Yomiuri
  • Mitch Jones – didn’t get a chance in his stint with Nippon Ham, hit 35 home runs in the hitter-friendly PCL this year
  • Val Pascucci – has been productive in three AAA seasons since returning from his stint with Chiba Lotte
  • Buddy Carlyle – has been better with Atlanta than he was with Hanshin during the early 00’s
  • Winston Abreu – lit up AAA again this year, got lit up in the majors; did well in his tenure with Lotte

Korean Imports

  • Kim Dong-Ju – Lotte is reportedly ready to jump on a plan and sign this guy once the FA season opens
  • Kim Tae-Gyun – Hanshin was scouting Korea over the summer, and this Kim was a name that showed up in reports
  • Lee Beom-Ho– ditto for Lee

NPB Migrants

  • Termel Sledge – won’t be back with Nippon Ham next year; Yokohama, SoftBank reportedly interested
  • Greg LaRocca – has been productive when healthy, could get a shot somewhere else if Orix chooses not to retain his services
  • Dan Johnson – batting average side, put in a productive year for Yokohama, still wasn’t retained
  • Seth Greisinger – has put up three good years in Japan, may not fit into Yomiuri’s plans for next year; Hanshin would gladly take him
  • Brian Sikorski – posted a great year for Lotte; if they don’t keep him, Yokohama is interested

4A Veterans

  • Mike Hessman – tenured AAA slugger, doesn’t hit for average but walks and has a power bat
  • Lenny DiNardo – coming off a great AAA season, has never been able to strike MLB hitters out
  • Bobby Korecky – reliever with nothing left to prove at AAA
  • Kevin Frandsen – doesn’t fit the power-hitting mold NPB teams usually like, but can play multiple positions and hit for average
  • Matt Murton – another sharp hitter who has mastered AAA pitching
  • Chris Shelton – has had two productive MLB seasons, continues to perform at AAA
  • Brad Eldred – another veteran AAA slugger, though his average has dropped in the last few years
  • Wily Mo Pena – I thought he was on his way to Japan when the Mets released him during the season
  • Charlie Haeger – has come up on Hanshin’s list
  • Rich Hill – he has a Japan-style curveball
  • Jason Dubois – perhaps the most well-rounded of the AAA sluggers I’ve listed here, Dubois hits for reasonable average and gets on base, at least at AAA
  • Scott Strickland – was good with the Expos a few years ago, hasn’t gotten another chance
  • Evan MacLane – rumor is that he’s headed to Japan rather than resigning with the Cardinals

Fringey MLB Guys

  • Marcus Thames – Hanshin was interested in him a few years ago, but Detroit held on to him and he played pretty well
  • Eric Hinske – SoftBank was interested last year, and is again this year
  • Chris Bootcheck – has the velocity to succeed in Japan
  • Denny Bautista – another hard thrower who’s bounced between AAA and MLB

Who are some other good candidates?

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SoftBank Inches Toward McPherson

» 07 April 2009 » In npb » 5 Comments

This is getting obvious — SoftBank has now come out and said publicly that they’re looking to add a foreign bat, and targetting third baseman who have recently been dropped from MLB 40-man rosters. Starting third baseman Nobuhiro Matsuda¬†suffered an injury on opening day, increasing the urgency to add a bat. You all know who my choice would be. The other guy I could see getting a shot is Mike Hessman.

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Options for SoftBank

» 27 February 2009 » In npb » 3 Comments

So we know at this point that SoftBank is looking to import a bat toward the end of spring training. Takeuchi-COO, if you’re your listening, here are a few options:

  • Dallas McPherson, 3B, Florida Marlins — hit 42 bombs in AAA last year.
  • Andy Marte, 3B, Cleveland Indians — former top prospect cleared waivers and is headed back to AAA.
  • Mike Hessman, 1B/3B, Detroit Tigers — quad-A type, hit for consistent power in AAA for the last seven years but hasn’t won an MLB job. Doesn’t hit for much average.
  • Craig Brazell, 1B/DH, Baltimore Orioles — SoftBank apparently passed on him after Seibu let him go last offseason, but he showed power in Japan last year. Probably needs an injury to make the MLB team.
  • Jeff Bailey, 1B/OF, Boston Red Sox — been pretty good in AAA the last few years.
  • Scott Thorman, 1B, Milwaukee Brewers — got a shot with the Braves but didn’t hit. Has been pretty good in the minors, looks like another quad-A guy.
  • Nelson Cruz, OF, Texas Rangers — the Hawks tried to get him twice last year. Even if Texas is willing to let him go, he won’t get through waivers. Still, SoftBank can dream.

Any other ideas for the Hawks?

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