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3 MLB Teams Targeting Tazawa

Discussion in the Rumor Mill forum
3 MLB Teams Targeting Tazawa
Reportedly, the Mets, Red Sox, and Braves are targeting Industrial League pitcher, Junichi Tazawa.

Tazawa is a 22 year old, 5'11 178 pound pitcher, and supposedly tops out on 97-98 who was drafted by the Orix Buffaloes but turned them down to play in the industrial leagues. He, according to this Sponichi article, plays for the Nippon Oil ENEOS Industrial team. Red Sox scout, Jon Deeble, has reportedly been given the green light by Boston GM Theo Epstein to try and sign the righty. This page [ENEOS - in Japanese] gives some insight into him.

Also, there are no rules prohibiting industrial league players from signing with a MLB team if I understand correctly. This is a story I would like to pay more attention to and is the type of scouting I like by MLB teams.

Sources: Yahoo! Japan, Pro Sports Daily
Comments
Re: 3 MLB Teams Targeting Tazawa
[ Author: Tokyo Sox | Posted: Sep 3, 2008 8:14 PM | TYS Fan ]

Yeah saw that last night. Pretty interesting, to be sure. I read the "nado" as there being more than just the 3 MLB and 12 NPB teams with scouts there, but for whatever reason just the Braves, Mets, and Red Sox got mentioned on the MLB side.

There doesn't seem to be any real information or wording in the article that indicates the Red Sox are necessarily the front runners for landing Tazawa. It just seems to me that since the Sox have become so high profile in Japan over the last couple years, they receive the lion's share of the press in situations like these, and papers like SpoNichi play up the Sox angle because it makes good headlines.

It's a very interesting case, and would be an amazing precedent if the Sox (or anyone else) can sign him. Of course, I prefer it to be the Sox!
Re: 3 MLB Teams Targeting Tazawa
[ Author: Jbroks86 | Posted: Sep 10, 2008 5:27 AM | SFT Fan ]

Tazawa, according to Sponichi has reportedly sent a letter to the 12 NPB teams asking them not to draft him, deciding he wants to go to MLB next year.

Tazawa, from what I've heard, projects as a first round pick in this year's NPB draft. Also, from what I've read, it seems like the Tigers, Pirates, and Giants are interested in him. According to Nikkan Sports, the Dodgers, Yankees, Cubs, and Mariners are also interested in Tazawa.

Here's a video [Youtube] of Tazawa. Hat tip to NPB Tracker for the video.

I suppose the heads up in NPB will throw a tissy fit if MLB signs such a top amateur player. Though it might also be the thing that lights a match underneath them, too.
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