More on Tazawa
by Patrick Newman (Sep 2, 2008)
Okay Red Sox, Braves, and Orix Buffaloes fans - I did a little more digging on Junichi Tazawa and found some pretty good stuff.
- Deanna attended Tazawa's most recent game with Simon and treats us to this game report. If you haven't checked out Deanna's and Simon's blogs, I highly recommend doing so.
- This YouTube video
shows an inning's worth of work in which Tazawa shows off a 90-93 mph
fastball, a 12-6 curve, and a shuuto. Note that his fastball has some
movement and he can run it in on righthanded batters. I have no idea
about the quality of competition in this game.
- This much worse amateur video
is from a pro-am game versus the Chunichi Dragons. He hits 150 km/h
(93mph) on the gun and you can get a sense of the movement on his
stuff, but other than that you can't tell much about how he did. The
video is more watchable from about 04:00 in.
- Here's a great frame-by-frame look at Tazama's windup.
- This Japanese scouting report
includes Tazawa's stats for this season. I'm not going to translate the
whole thing but I'll give you the bottom line: 54 IP, 46 hits, 56 K, 4
BB, 6 ER, 1.00 ERA. Fastest recorded pitch speed is 153 km/h (95.625
mph) according to this.
I'm actually rooting for Tazawa to stay in Japan. I'm an NPB fan and
I'd like to the league retain it's best talent at least for some period
of time. But at the same time I think this attention is good. The
interest of teams like the Red Sox validates the level of talent in
Japan. Also if NPB teams have to compete with MLB teams a little more
directly to acquire top amateur talent, it may make them adapt their
approaches a bit more quickly, and I think that would be a good thing.