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Any Japanese talent coming over for 07'?

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Any Japanese talent coming over for 07'?

Postby Hitdogman » Mon Feb 13, 2006 1:35 pm

My 14 team auction keeper league is pretty deep. The majority of the top 50 prospects according to BA have already been drafted last year or the year before. We have a 17 round supplemental draft and the picking get pretty slim come round 14 or so.

I was looking at some Japanese talent, primarily hitters, that might be coming over in 07' and I was curious if anyone knew anything more about them.

The players that seem to be on top of everyone's list are the following,

Akinori Iwamura 3b
Kosuke Fukudome OF
Shinnosuke Abe C

Thanks in advance for your input.
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Postby rhd » Mon Feb 13, 2006 10:11 pm

I assume you already know about Matsuzaka, who I would say probably wont be coming over until at least 2008.

Fukudome & Iwamura do seem to be the top guys that might come over next year. However, I believe that both are under contract thru 2007, so each would have to be posted in order to come next year. Iwamura's club I believe has promised to post him after this season, but that doesnt mean they will.

I dont know where you read that Abe might come over next year, but he only has 5 years service and Japanese players dont become free agents until after 9 yrs. His club, Yomiuri, is noted for refusing to post their players, so I doubt if he'll be over here before 2010 unless he gets traded. If the 'Baseball Guru' is where you saw Abe, he's listed there as a 'player to watch', not a free agent.

Another worthwhile guy that I have as being a free agent next year is Yoshinobu Takahashi (OF). He had an off year last year, but I think that was because he got hurt.

Seung-Yeop Lee wanted to come over this year, but evidently didnt get the interest he wanted, so he signed a 1-year deal in Japan. So he could come next year.

Fumiya Nishiguchi (SP) wanted to come over this year, but signed a 1-year deal w his current club. So he could come over next year.

Also, Hirotoshi Ishii (RP) wanted to come over this year, but his club refused to post him. I think his club said they might post him next year if he has a good year, but again this is iffy.

Fukudome and Iwamura are the only ones I'd be interested in drafting now, & even then it's only a mild interest. At least for next year. Even in a deep league, there should be plenty of 'American' players that I'd be more interested in. However, I am quite interested in drafting Matsuzaka to stash for 2-3 years.
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Postby Hitdogman » Tue Feb 14, 2006 10:54 am

I assume you already know about Matsuzaka, who I would say probably wont be coming over until at least 2008.


Yeah, I had read a lot about him two years ago and attempted to draft him and stash him away but a league member beat me to it. This guy's wife has family from Japan and he goes over once a year and scouts guys that he reads about. He also drafted Ichiro a full year before he signed with Seattle. We all thought he was nuts. ;-)

Baseball Guru was the website that I came across when looking for free agents form Japan.

http://baseballguru.com/jalbright/analysisjalbright35.html#Akinori_Iwamura

It has some good information but I've found that some of his stats are off so its making me start to think that his knowledge of who is eligible is also off. Like you said, Abe is a player to watch, which I confused with free agent.

The only ball player from Japan that I have drafted was Nokumura the third baseman who I think did sign with the Mets but went back to Japan eventually. I'm just looking for someone who has some upside and plans on coming to the US.

Between Fukodome and Iwamura, who do you see as having a better MLB future if they should choose to come over? Also is there a Japanese website where you can follow their stats through the season? Every site I've come across is naturally in Japanese.

Thanks for listing the other prospects. I'll have to do some research on them.
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Postby rhd » Wed Feb 15, 2006 12:58 am

I also took Ichiro as a rookie. 'Big Matsui', also. Those 2 worked out pretty well. I took Iguchi in another league. I considered taking Johjima last year, but there were other guys I liked better.

Albright's 'stats' actually are his translations of the players' Japan League stats to MLB. So, they're not 'wrong'. But I dont put much stock in them; I go by the real stats and I use my own idea of how I think the player will do in MLB. Basically, for an all-star caliber Japanese player in their prime years, figure that their MLB BA will be about 90% or so of what it was in Japan and they'll hit about 67% of the HRs they hit in Japan. SBs should be about the same, all other things being equal.

Hard to say who'll be better between Iwamura and Fukudome. I like Fukudome a little more because his plate discipline is a lot better than Iwamura's. But Iwamura seems to be a better bet to switch leagues.

I dont know of a site that has complete Japan League stats in English during the season, but Borisov's site, which you can get to from the japanesebaseball.com site, has the league leaders' stats in-season, so most of the better players' most important stats will be there, if they're not injured.

Also, Masahiro Tanaka is a phenom Japanese HS pitcher who I will keep my eye on. Dont know where he's headed this year.
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Postby Hitdogman » Wed Feb 15, 2006 11:49 am

Also, Masahiro Tanaka is a phenom Japanese HS pitcher who I will keep my eye on. Dont know where he's headed this year.


Is he the 17 or 18 year old that the Mets were scouting here recently? I remember them saying he was lights out in the game that they scouted him. They were comparing him to Matsuzaka.
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Postby rhd » Wed Feb 15, 2006 9:54 pm

Hitdog,

I dont remember if the Mets scouted him but you're probably right.

BTW, re: drafting foreign prospects to try to get the jump on your league-mates, keep your eye on Yulieski Gourriel (sp?), who's a 21-y/o IFer in Cuba. In today's BA Chat, John Manuel said if he were eligible for their Top 100 list (which is isnt) he'd consider putting him on it. Of course, I have no idea if and when he might defect. He'll be playing in the upcoming WBC, so if those games are televised anywhere, you may want to look for him.

Good luck in your drafts!
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