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Closers, Catchers, 2B, and Outfielders

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Closers, Catchers, 2B, and Outfielders
Does Tomoaki Kanemoto play CF? His 2001 statistics look as if they belong to a young Barry Bonds!

In 2001 Atsuya Furuta hit as if he were Mike Piazza. How good is he on defense?

Who are the top closers, catchers, hitting 2B, center fielders, and right fielders in NPB?

(The Oakland Athletics, among others, need help in those positions.)
Re: Closers, Catchers, 2B, and Outfielders
[ Author: Guest: Mike | Posted: Nov 7, 2002 10:01 AM ]

There is no way a Japanese player is going to play for the cheap paying Oakland Athletics.
This is the subject
[ Author: torakichi | Posted: Nov 7, 2002 11:49 AM | HT Fan ]

> Who are the top closers

I suppose that would be people like the Giant's Kawahara, Seibu's Toyoda, Yakult's Takatsu, and even Marc Valdez, who Hanshin have sensationally let go.

> hitting 2B

Hanshin's Imaoka? Batted over .300 this season, although he, like almost all of his teammates, missed a lot of games through injury.

> center fielders

Matsui, surely. Being a Hanshin fan (in case you hadn't guessed already ), I'm partial to Akahoshi, although he's not exactly a hitter. His main asset is his speed. He's a tiny guy, but he's been the top base stealer in Japan for both of his two years in NPB; he was rookie of the year last season. Pitchers absolutely hate having him on base, because there's a big possibility that he'll run.
Kanemoto and Furuta
[ Author: 1908 | Posted: Nov 7, 2002 12:58 PM | HT Fan ]

Kanemoto plays LF and, at 34, he's not that much younger than Bonds. Also, when looking at his stats, keep in mind that he's played half his games at Hiroshima Municipal Stadium, the smallest ballpark in Japan. How small? Try 300 feet along the foul lines, 360 feet to the power alleys and 380 feet to straight-away center.

While Furuta is an excellent defensive catcher, he's also 37. Kenji Johjima and Shinnosuke Abe have a much better shot of catching an MLB game some day, although I seriously doubt the Giants would be willing to part with Abe before he's eligible for free agency, which is a long way off.
Re: Kanemoto and Furuta
[ Author: Guest: Gary Garland | Posted: Nov 8, 2002 11:01 AM ]

The other thing with Furuta is that his knees are shot. He got through as many games as he has this season thanks to pain killers.

Takatsu's elbow isn't in good shape and his pitches lost a lot of their movement this season. He has no MLB shot due to the injury concerns.

How Kanemoto will do next season should be interesting. I just came across a stat in Sankei Sports where it said he hit .211 against Yakult while owning Hanshin (.336) and Chunichi (.311). Mind you, Hiroshima's pitching isn't as good as Hanshin's, so maybe he will do even better. But Tomoaki is too old for MLB.
Re: Closers, Catchers, 2B, and Outfielders
[ Author: mike_edwards | Posted: Nov 8, 2002 11:54 AM ]

1908 will give me some flak for this , but I would list Chunichi's Motonobu Tanishige among the top two or three catchers in NPB. He calls a great game and has decent power numbers (24 HR, 78 RBI if I remember correctly) but his .215 average lowers his "value" in some folks' eyes.

2nd basemen? Nishi of the Giants had a lousy year at the plate, but he should have done a better job adjusting to his new position in the lineup. Anyway, I think this guy should get a hell of a lot more credit for the way he "plays" hitters. You see the occasional diving stop, but he positions himself so well that he makes those plays few and far between (which means he's studied the hitter's tendencies in detail and is aware what pitch is about to be thrown).

Center... Yokohama had a kid named Kinjoh there who came on like gangbusters in his rookie year, but last year he had some trouble (injury related? not sure). Quick as all get-out, pretty good with the glove and a decent hitter. Won't hit 20 dingers, but he'll get on base and is a threat to steal. There's also Yoshitomo Tani of the Orix BlueWave. Being at the bottom of the Pacific League this guy doesn't get a lot of press, but he plays solid defense and hits for average, while also swiping a good number of bases. I look forward to seeing him in the Nichi-Bei Series (got tickets to the game tomorrow night!).

Right... Homer pick, but when a hangnail hasn't landed him on the DL, Yoshinobu Takahashi plays right field as well as or better than anyone else I've seen here.

As you can see, I don't have the stat-thing down like a lot of the other guys, these are just my opinions based on what I've seen and the data I happen to remember.
Re: Closers, Catchers, 2B, and Outfielders
[ Author: 1908 | Posted: Nov 8, 2002 1:26 PM | HT Fan ]

- 1908 will give me some flak for this, but I would list Chunichi's Motonobu Tanishige among the top two or three catchers in NPB.

No flak from me, but Mariners' officials are another story.

Sasaki's ex-teammate may not be good catch.
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Nov 8, 2002 2:09 PM | YBS Fan ]

I got to the third paragraph and hit "Tamishige" (emphisis added). Then as I read the article, I was saying to myself, this is a year out of date. Sure enough, it's from the 2001 archives.

Watching mostly BayStars games last season, though, Tanishige killed us. It seems like most of Chunichi's victories against us were a direct result of runs driven in by Tanishige.

Personally, I still think that he surpassed Furuta back in 1998. Still one of the top three? He gets my vote.
Re: Tanishige
[ Author: Guest: Gary Garland | Posted: Nov 8, 2002 8:14 PM ]

Michael-san is correct. Aside from the fact that Tanishige played out of his mind again defensively this season, in the early part of the year, he was eating his former team for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I personally still believe that Furuta is the better overall package, but he should seriously start to think about retirement and handing the mask off to Kosei Ono, since it is getting harder and harder physically for him. Right now, though, Kenji Johjima is the best catcher in Japan overall. Maybe in three or four years, once he starts to consistently show 30 homer power (and with a natural uppercut swing, he should) Shinnosuke Abe should take that crown, especially since Johjima will be playing in MLB by that time. I'm kind of interested to see how that Hosokawa kid with Seibu will develop.
Furuta's Time
[ Author: yakult toughman | Posted: Nov 9, 2002 9:58 AM | YAK Fan ]

I agree with Garland-san that Furuta should start thinking about retirement. As a die hard Swallows fan, I REALLY WANT Furuta to reach or collect 2,000 hits. But he is not going to play all 140 games in a season any more. I am happy that Yakult developed some back up catchers such as Yoneno in this season.
Re: Closers, Catchers, 2B, and Outfielders
[ Author: Guest: Brent | Posted: Nov 14, 2002 2:07 AM ]

If you're really an A's fan you shouldn't be concerned about any positions except CF, SS and middle relief. Maybe they can get that closer from the Buffaloes and sign Kaz Matsui when Tejada leaves next year.

This is a site about Pro Yakyu (Japanese Baseball), not about who the next player to go over to MLB is. It's a community of Pro Yakyu fans who have come together to share their knowledge and opinions with the world. It's a place to follow teams and individuals playing baseball in Japan (and Asia), and to learn about Japanese (and Asian) culture through baseball.

It is my sincere hope that once you learn a bit about what we're about here that you will join the community of contributors.

Michael Westbay
(aka westbaystars)

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