Thursday, November 12, 2020

Tokyo Big 6: The I-Lost-To-Todai Club, ten years later

I've been a giant fan of Japanese college baseball since 2007, and when I was living in Japan I pretty much spent every weekend at the Tokyo Big 6 games, sitting in the front row taking photos with some friends, going outside and chatting up players after the games, getting photos with them and getting the photos I took of them autographed, and also bringing snacks for the players and jokingly offering to be everyone's English teacher.  This resulted in things like several years in a row, I had actually been out drinking with guys who got drafted, and other shenanigans.

Somewhere along the line I became somewhat obsessed with actually being there in person for a Tokyo University win again.  (I was there when they won a game in 2008, and I was there for a few ties.)  So I started prioritizing those games, and somehow my allegiance shifted from being well-known as a Hosei/Keio fangirl to a Todai fangirl.  It means I am not buddy-buddy with guys in the pros so much anymore, but the Todai guys are always the nicest, smartest, and most interesting ones anyway. Plus, since I've been working for Google for over seven years now, and we have a LOT of Todai grads, it has also been a running joke with a lot of my coworkers in the Tokyo office.

So a decade ago I wrote a post on here called The I-Lost-To-Todai Club pointing out that, since Todai basically can go whole years without winning a game, when they DO actually win, it's a big deal (the slogan on the Fall 2016 posters literally said "We make the news just by winning one game") -- but the pitchers who lose to them aren't generally crappy pitchers -- they're the ones who often end up going into the pros.

Now, part of this is just the luck of the draw, but part of it is also the fact the guys who go pro are usually the ace pitchers who are just pitching more games anyway, so that makes it more likely for them to be up there when Todai happens to have a really good day (and they have a really bad day).  My post a decade ago looked at 2000-2010, so I'm going to take a second here and look at 2010-2020 since it's been a decade.  Here are the games Todai won in the past decade since:
            Win  Loss  Tie   Opponent   WP                 LP
2010 Autumn  1    10    0    Waseda     Shota Suzuki       Yuki Saitoh  
2011 Spring  0    10    1
2011 Autumn  0    10    0
2012 Spring  0    10    0
2012 Autumn  0    10    1
2013 Spring  0    10    0
2013 Autumn  0    10    0
2014 Spring  0    10    0
2014 Autumn  0    10    0
2015 Spring  1    10    0    Hosei      Akihiro Shibata    Shuya Kanno
2015 Autumn  1    10    0    Hosei      Kohei Miyadai      Takuya Kumagai
2016 Spring  3    10    0    Meiji      Akihiro Shibata    Hiromasa Saitoh
                             Rikkio     Kohei Miyadai      Keisuke Sawada
                             Hosei      Kohei Miyadai      Shoichi Tamakuma
2016 Autumn  1    10    0    Rikkio     Kohei Miyadai      Seiya Tanaka
2017 Spring  0    10    0
2017 Autumn  3     8    0    Keio       Kohei Miyadai      Yuki Takahashi
                             Hosei      Kohei Miyadai      Shuya Kanno
                             Hosei      Naoki Miyamoto     Yuya Hasegawa
2018 Spring  0    10    0
2018 Autumn  0    10    1
2019 Spring  0    10    0
2019 Autumn  0    10    0
2020 Spring  0     5    0
2020 Autumn  0     9    1

Total:       10  202    4
That is a slightly less impressive list of losers than the other one was, but not by much. Yuki Saitoh is now on the Fighters, Hiromasa Saitoh is now on the Lions, Keisuke Sawada is now on the Buffaloes.

And that 2010 game? Yuki Saitoh pitched 6 innings and lost and the closer after him was Tatsuya Ohishi who also went pro with the Lions.  The Meiji game in 2016, the starter was Tomoya Hoshi who now plays for the Yakult Swallows.  The Rikkio game in the fall of 2016, the starter was Ichiro Tamura who now plays for the Seibu Lions.

Another funny piece of trivia about the pitchers credited with the wins for Todai: Shota Suzuki was one of the rare Todai players to go on and play in the industrial leagues after graduation, playing for JR East, and now Akihiro Shibata, who won a handful of the 2015-2016 games, also plays for JR East.  (They didn't overlap; Suzuki was on the team for three years 2014-2016 and Shibata joined the team in 2018.)  

Naoki Miyamoto, who was credited with the win in the awesome Oct 8th 2017 game which got Todai their first season win point since 2002, quit baseball and went on to work for one of Japan's largest insurance firms.  

And Kohei Miyadai went on to be the 7th pro baseball player in history to come out of Tokyo University, and he's still playing for the Fighters, and he's currently my favorite Fighters player and definitely one of my all-time favorite Todai players.

Now, you might be wondering: what does this have to do with the draft?  Well, a few weeks ago I was watching the Keio-Todai game featuring Iizawa vs Kizawa -- the Kizawa that just got drafted in the first round by the Yakult Swallows.  And booooooy did he look like crap out there.  I mean, he still pitched 6 shutout innings, but that was mostly Todai shooting themselves in the foot.  At one point I'm pretty sure he'd thrown more balls than strikes.  And unfortunately this was the only game I saw him pitch this semester, so when Kozo asked me what I knew about Kizawa, I was like ... I think he's a fairly consistently good pitcher but he couldn't seem to throw a strike against Todai a few weeks ago!

And since he didn't actually lose a game to Todai, he doesn't actually get to join this club.

Also, last time I got to say that they won 15 games in the 2000-2010 decade.  This time they won only 10 in the following decade (9 if you don't count that I split up the 2010 season between posts).

You really have to understand the context under which Miyadai can be considered one of the greatest in his team's history with a 6-13, 4.26 ERA record.  Takahiro Matsuka (Baystars/Fighters) was 3-17 with a 4.64 ERA, and Ryohei Endoh, who is also one of my favorite people (and current assistant GM for the Fighters), was 8-32 with a 3.63 ERA during his time at Todai.  That 8 wins put him in a tie for 5th-most wins by a pitcher in Todai history.  Itaru Kobayashi managed to get drafted by the Chiba Lotte Marines and the team had a 70-game losing streak while he was playing for them, so he never even got a win.

Anyway, I guess it's been an interesting decade.  Who knows if I'll revisit this in 2030?

Monday, October 26, 2020

Draft 2020 blog post

Yup, literally a year has gone by since I posted in this. This has been such a frustrating year that it shouldn't surprise any of you that I almost overslept the draft, too.

I ordered draft magazines that showed up last week, though, and it's hard to let old habits die, since this is my 15TH YEAR IN A ROW TRANSLATING THE DRAFT so I can't imagine NOT doing it. I'll add to this post as it goes. 

I'll be following along live on Sports Bull assuming it continues to work, and my goto for the text version of what's up pretty much forever has been Nikkan Sports.  And whoa, is this a change from the normal stuff.  Just a bunch of conference rooms with a bunch of masked men in there looking way more somber than they usually do for this event.

Status: DONE.  I don't think I intend to touch this table again unless something needs to be fixed. The first round commentary and some other notes are below.
Name                   Pos  HS/Univ/Company         T/B   DOB          Ht/Wt  
--------------------   ---  ---------------         ---   ----------   -------
Buffaloes
x Teruaki Satoh
1 Shunpeita Yamashita   P   Fukuoka Univ Ohhori HS  R/R   07/16/2002   189/93
2 Kendai Gen            OF  Chukyo HS               R/R   05/17/2002   186/85
3 Ryoto Kita            OF  Akashi Shogyo HS        R/L   10/16/2002   178/78
4 Hayate Nakagawa       P   Rikkyo Univ             R/L   10/10/1998   184/80
5 Takuma Nakagawa       C   Toyohashi Chuo HS       R/R   07/17/2002   177/86
6 Shota Abe             P   Nihon Seimei            R/L   11/03/1992   178/78

i1 Kento Kawase         P   Oita Shogyo HS          R/R   06/18/2002   183/85
i2 Takara Tsujigaki     P   Shoin Gakuen Fukushima  L/L   06/10/2002   182/83
i3 Yuki Udagawa         P   Sendai Univ             R/R   11/10/1998   184/94
i4 Jui Tsuri            C   Kyoto Kokusai HS        R/R   06/30/2002   181/87
i5 Yukikazu Sano        OF  Sendai Univ             R/L   09/02/1998   174/80
i6 Taku Kochoh          IF  Fukushima Red Hopes     R/R   08/05/1994   164/67

Swallows
x Takahisa Hayakawa
x Shota Suzuki
1 Naofumi Kizawa        P   Keio Univ               R/R   04/25/1998   183/85
2 Taichi Yamano         P   Tohoku Fukushi Univ     L/L   03/24/1999   172/77
3 Soma Uchiyama         C   Seiryo HS               R/R   06/30/2002   172/72
4 Hiyu Motoyama         IF  Tohoku Fukushi Univ     R/L   12/04/1998   180/76
5 Hidetaka Namiki       OF  Dokkyo Univ             R/R   03/23/1999   170/70
6 Sota Katekaru         P   Japan Aviation Ishikawa R/R   12/16/2002   191/106

i1 Shinnosuke Shimo     P   Takasaki Kenko Fukushi  L/L   06/18/2002   183/87
i2 Yoshihiro Akahane    IF  Shinano Grandserows     R/R   06/29/2000   178/78
i3 Sho Matsui           C   Shinano Grandserows     R/L   05/29/1995   176/78
i4 Shota Maruyama       P   Nishinihon Kogyo Univ   R/L   08/22/1998   192/80

Fighters
1 Hiromi Itoh           P   Komazawa Univ Tomakomai R/L   08/31/1997   176/80 
2 Ryota Isobata         OF  Chuo Univ               R/L   11/27/1998   172/67
3 Yudai Furukawa        C   Jobu Univ               R/L   06/19/1998   182/86
4 Ryohei Hosokawa       IF  Chiben Wakayama HS      R/L   04/25/2002   174/75
5 Haruka Nemoto         P   Tomakomai Chuo HS       L/L   03/31/2003   173/78
6 Yuma Imagawa          OF  JFE East                R/R   01/25/1997   176/84

i1 Ryodai Matsumoto     P   Hanamaki Higashi HS     R/R   05/17/2002   187/96
i2 Shinji Saitoh        P   Tokyo Joho Univ         R/R   06/13/1998   181/83

Carp
1 Ryoji Kuribayashi     P   Toyota                  R/R   07/09/1996   177/80
2 Daisuke Moriura       P   Tenri Univ              L/L   06/15/1998   175/70
3 Haruki Ohmichi        P   Hachinohe Gakuin Univ   R/R   01/20/1999   178/78
4 Tatsuto Kobayashi     P   Chiben Wakayama HS      R/R   01/16/2003   182/79
5 Shun Namiki           P   Tokushima Indigo Socks  R/R   01/08/2000   183/75
6 Masaya Yano           IF  Asia Univ               R/L   12/16/1998   173/71

i1 Shoichi Futamata     C   Iwata Higashi HS        R/R   10/21/2002   180/76

Eagles 
1 Takahisa Hayakawa     P   Waseda Univ             L/L   07/06/1998   179/72
2 Koichi Takata         P   Hosei Univ              R/R   06/03/1998   183/88
3 Masaru Fujii          P   ENEOS                   L/L   10/03/1996   175/78
4 Takuma Uchima         P   Asia Univ               R/R   11/21/1998   179/84
5 Daiki Irie            IF  Sendai Ikuei HS         R/R   06/06/2002   185/82
6 Seiryu Uchi           P   Riseisha HS             R/L   04/24/2002   190/88

i1 Shun Ishida          P   Tochigi Golden Braves   R/R   05/27/1997   180/74

Baystars
1 Taisei Irie           P   Meiji Univ              R/R   08/26/1998   187/84
2 Shugo Maki            IF  Chuo Univ               R/R   04/21/1998   178/81
3 Ryunosuke Matsumoto   P   Yokohama HS             L/L   07/31/2002   186/76
4 Daichi Kobukata       IF  Riseisha HS             R/L   03/25/2003   176/87
5 Sota Ikeya            P   Yamaha                  L/L   08/02/1999   174/76
6 Takuto Takada         P   Shizuoka Shogyo HS      L/L   09/18/2002   177/74

i1 Tatsuya Ishikawa     P   Hosei Univ              L/R   04/15/1998   178/73
i2 Dai Katoh            P   Yokohama Hayato HS      R/R   04/24/2002   177/81

Lions
x Takahisa Hayakawa
1 Kento Watanabe        IF  Toin Yokohama Univ      R/R   12/26/1998   176/113
2 Takeru Sasaki         P   NTT East                L/L   05/13/1996   179/85
3 Takayoshi Yamamura    IF  Tokaidai Sagami HS      R/L   09/28/2002   180/85
4 Gakuto Wakabayashi    OF  Komazawa Univ           R/R   04/13/1998   177/75
5 Ren Ohmagari          P   Fukuoka Univ            R/R   05/21/1998   179/78
6 Brandon Taiga Tysinger IF Nodai Okhotsk Univ      R/R   06/14/1998   178/84
7 Yuta Nakamigawa       OF  Osaka Toin HS           R/L   10/22/2002   180/94

i1 Yuto Akagami         P   Tohoku Koeki Univ       R/R   02/10/1999   177/80
i2 Shinya Hasegawa      OF  Tsuruga Kehi HS         R/R   05/17/2002   183/80
i3 Joseph Ken Miyamoto  OF  Nagoya Gakuin Univ      R/R   03/21/1999   175/86
i4 Taishi Mameda        P   Urawa Jitsugyo Gakuen   R/R   01/15/2003   173/80
i5 Yoshinobu Mizukami   P   Shikoku Gakuin Univ     R/R   07/13/1998   176/81

Tigers
1 Teruaki Satoh         IF  Kinki Univ              R/L   03/13/1999   186/92
2 Masashi Itoh          P   JR East                 L/L   05/08/1996   178/85
3 Ren Satoh             P   Jobu Univ               R/R   04/11/1998   188/102
4 Yuki Sakaeda          C   Ritsumeikan Univ        R/R   05/16/1998   179/79
5 Shoki Murakami        P   Toyo Univ               R/L   06/25/1998   174/75
6 Takumu Nakano         IF  Mitsubishi Okazaki      R/L   06/28/1996   172/67
7 Nozomu Takatera       IF  Ueda Nishi HS           R/L   10/17/2002   178/68
8 Daichi Ishii          P   Kochi Fighting Dogs     R/R   07/29/1997   175/81

i1 Masaki Iwata         P   Kyushu Sangyo Univ      L/L   06/16/1998   178/83

Marines
x Takahisa Hayakawa
1 Shota Suzuki          P   Hosei Univ              L/L   09/07/1998   175/81
2 Shunsuke Nakamori     P   Akashi Shogyo HS        R/L   05/29/2002   181/79
3 Ryusei Ogawa          P   Kokugakuin Univ         R/L   04/05/1998   172/82
4 Tokito Kawamura       P   Seisa Dohto Univ        R/R   06/18/1997   192/85
5 Ryosuke Nishikawa     OF  Tokaidai Sagami HS      R/R   04/19/2002   186/92

i1 Yuito Tanigawa       C   Risshodai Shonan HS     R/R   05/27/2002   178/72
i2 Kenta Onuma          P   Ibaraki Astro Planets   R/R   06/11/1998   189/86
i3 Daito Yamamoto       OF  Kaisei HS               R/R   08/09/2002   180/90
i4 Shoma Satoh          P   Senshu Univ             L/L   06/02/1998   177/78

Dragons
1 Hiroto Takahashi      P   Chukyodai Chukyo HS     R/R   08/09/2002   183/84
2 Hiroto Mori           P   Nittai Univ             R/R   05/25/1998   177/80
3 Ryuku Tsuchida        IF  Ohmi HS                 R/L   12/30/2002   180/77
4 Shota Fukushima       P   Kurashiki Kogyo HS      L/L   10/24/2002   177/88
5 Tsubasa Katoh         P   Teikyodai Kani HS       R/R   12/14/2002   179/76
6 Hironori Miyoshi      OF  JFE West                L/L   09/28/1997   180/82

i1 Ren Kondoh           P   Sapporo Gakuin Univ     L/L   09/22/1998   180/87
i2 Kotaro Ueda          P   Kyoei HS                L/L   09/06/2002   184/95
i3 Yuta Matsukihira     P   Seika HS                R/R   02/24/2003   178/70

Hawks
x Teruaki Satoh
1 Tomoya Inoue          IF  Hanasaki Tokuharu HS    R/R   01/28/2003   181/88
2 Yoshiyasu Sasagawa    OF  Yokohama Shogyo HS      L/L   05/31/2002   193/86
3 Kota Makihara         C   Nichidai Fujisawa HS    R/L   07/13/2002   176/82
4 Junpei Kawarada       IF  Aomori Yamada HS        R/R   05/21/2002   170/72
5 Sota Tanoue           P   Riseisha HS             R/L   11/26/2002   185/83

i1 Hiroki Satoh         P   Keio Univ               L/L   02/18/1999   180/80
i2 Yuya Nakamichi       P   Hachinohe Gakuin Univ   L/L   09/04/1998   182/75
i3 Shuji Kuwahara       P   Kamimura Gakuen HS      R/R   05/29/2002   175/80
i4 Shinnosuke Haya      OF  Kyoto Kokusai HS        L/L   09/11/2002   178/78
i5 Riku Ogata           IF  Komazawa Univ           R/L   09/22/1998   175/70
i6 Shoma Itani          C   Meiho HS                R/R   12/30/2002   177/77
i7 Shinno Ohshiro       P   Ginoza HS               L/L   11/24/2002   170/67
i8 Ryota Nakamura       P   Nodai Okhotsk Univ      R/R   05/18/1998   185/76

Giants
x Teruaki Satoh
1 Ryuta Heinai          P   Asia Univ               R/R   09/07/1998   186/90 
2 Iori Yamasaki         P   Tokai Uinv              R/L   10/10/1998   181/72
3 Raito Nakayama        IF  Chukyodai Chukyo HS     R/L   04/12/2002   181/81
4 Yusuke Itoh           P   Mitsubishi Power        R/R   01/14/1997   178/83
5 Yuto Akihiro          IF  Nishogakusha HS         R/L   09/17/2002   200/95
6 Itsuki Yamamoto       P   Chukyo Univ             L/L   06/28/1998   181/87
7 Tetsu Hagiwara        C   Soka Univ               R/L   05/18/1998   174/82

i1 Hiroto Okamoto       IF  Yonago Higashi HS       R/R   09/12/2002   190/92
i2 Ryusuke Kita         C   Kyoto Adv. Sci. Univ    R/R   08/25/1998   180/83
i3 Naoki Kasashima      P   Tsuruga Kehi HS         R/R   12/07/2002   178/78
i4 Motoya Kinoshita     P   Yokohama HS             R/R   05/01/2002   185/88
i5 Kenki Maeda          C   Komazawa Univ           R/L   12/13/1998   180/85
i6 Hayato Sakamoto      C   Karatsu Shogyo HS       R/R   04/15/2002   177/83
i7 Natsuki Toda         P   Tokushima Indigo Socks  R/R   07/22/2000   172/70
i8 Kenyu Abe            P   Sapporo Ohtani HS       L/L   05/17/2002   200/98
i9 Riku Naraki          P   Tsukuba Univ            R/R   04/16/1998   182/90
i10 Yusuke Yamasaki     P   Fukuyama Univ           R/R   05/02/1998   178/80
i11 Koichi Hoshina      OF  Soka Univ               L/L   06/03/1998   187/92
i12 Ren Katoh           IF  Tokai Univ Marine Sci.  R/L   01/12/1999   181/80



Here's what happened in the first round and lotteries (moved from above)

Orix: Teruaki Satoh (Kinki Univ IF)
Yakult: Takahisa Hayakawa (Waseda RHP)
Fighters: Hiromi Itoh (Komadai Tomakomai RHP)
Carp: Ryoji Kuribayashi (Toyota RHP)
Eagles: Hayakawa
Baystars: Taisei Irie (Meiji RHP)
Seibu: Hayakawa
Hanshin: Satoh 
Chiba Lotte: Hayakawa
Dragons: Hiroto Takahashi (Chukyodai HS RHP)
Hawks: Satoh
Giants: Satoh

First lottery is for Satoh, and Hanshin wins.
Second lottery is for Hayakawa, and Rakuten wins.

Consolation picks (for the Hayakawa and Satoh lottery losers):
Orix: Shunpeita Yamashita (Fukuoka Ohhori HS P)
Yakult: Shota Suzuki (Hosei Univ P)
Seibu: Kento Watanabe (Toin Yokohama Univ IF)
Lotte: Suzuki
Hawks: Tomoya Inoue (Hanasaki Tokuharu HS OF)
Giants: Ryuta Heinai (Asia Univ P)

And the Suzuki lottery goes to... Chiba Lotte!

Yakult gets to make a 1st-round pick that nobody can challenge and they take... Naofumi Kizawa from Keio!  That's exciting, I've seen him pitch quite a bit recently.

So the actual first round is:
Buffaloes: Shunpeita Yamashita (Fukuokadai Ohhori HS RHP)
Yakult: Naofumi Kizawa (Keio RHP)
Fighters: Hiromi Itoh (Komadai Tomakomai RHP)
Carp: Ryoji Kuribayashi (Toyota RHP)
Eagles: Takahisa Hayakawa (Waseda RHP)
Baystars: Taisei Irie (Meiji RHP)
Lions: Kento Watanabe (Toin Yokohama Univ IF) <-- looks like another Okawari-kun
Tigers: Teruaki Satoh (Kinki Univ IF) 
Marines: Shota Suzuki (Hosei Univ LHP)
Dragons: Hiroto Takahayashi (Chukyodai HS RHP)
Hawks: Tomoya Inoue (Hanasaki Tokuharu HS OF)
Giants: Ryuta Heinai (Asia Univ P)

Whee.

Some more comments:

1) This is the first year EVER that every single team took players in the Ikusei draft.  The Fighters in general did not do ikusei contracts at ALL until the 2019 season; you can see our draft record and that our first ever ikusei draftee was Kazuyoshi Ebihara in the fall 2018 draft.  But in 2019 the Swallows and Baystars didn't take any ikusei players and in 2018 the Dragons didn't.

2) It's really interesting that without a standard Koshien and set of high school hype events, there wasn't a huge fight for some high school kid in the first round for a change.  Chunichi named one but that was the only original first-rounder (but there were three after the post-lotteries dust settled)

3) I had no idea the Ibaraki Astro Planets even existed.  It sounds like they joined the BCL in 2019 for their first season.  (I haven't made it to a BCL game in person in a few years, it just rarely works out these days.  I do look at the schedule every year and which former pro players are where)

4) Yes, the romanization of タイシンガー・ブランドン大河 is "Brandon Taiga Tysinger".  His father's American, he was born in Okinawa, and his Twitter confirms the name.

5) Lions ikusei #3, Joseph Ken Miyamoto, his father is from Ghana (scout comments say he inherited his father's bright personality).

6) The NPB abolished the "Tazawa Rule" this year but everyone declined to draft Junichi Tazawa anyway.  I don't think this is that crazy -- first, he's 34 years old and would easily be the oldest person ever drafted.  I read an article this morning where a scout literally said "Drafting him seems contrary to the purpose of the draft, and we wouldn't want to use a slot on him.  He has an agent, he can figure out what to do next."  But, I dunno, I had a friend who was really expecting him to get taken.  I'm unclear on what this actually means, whether he can still join an NPB team if one wanted him, signed outside the draft, since nobody drafted him when he went into the draft?  The NPB outlawed outside-draft signings in 1990 (the last person to do it was Joe Furukawa, since his family moved to CA when he was six, and he played college ball at Berkeley and UC Irvine and they made an exception for him in 1992.  You might recognize his name as first Marty Brown's interpreter in Japan and then Yu Darvish's interpreter in the US) and these days returnees just go into the draft like Shuhei Fujiya did a few years ago.  So, I think he's still not allowed, but I honestly don't know if there's a loophole.

I'm actually making a separate post about my next point since it started getting long.  Whoa, two posts in a year.  Am I allowed?

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Draft 2019 Blog Post (not liveblogging! sorry!)

Hello blog land! I know, I don't write here anymore. If you want to see my photos and stuff from when I'm in Japan doing the ridiculous baseball circuit, basically, follow me on Twitter. This year's Fighters spring training in Arizona was so frustrating I couldn't write about it (although a newspaper writer there decided to write an article about me); I spent my usual spring and fall back in Japan, and I might go see the Fighters do fall camp in Arizona if they ever post more details about it in time to make travel arrangements.  Who knows.  This summer they also absolutely broke my heart when they traded Kagiya and Fujioka to the Giants; my fall trip definitely had a lot of people saying "So sorry about the trade, you must have been devastated.  At least you still have Miyadai."

I was in NYC for a work conference this week, so since the draft was at an even MORE awkward time for me than expected, I just translated everything in the morning/afternoon.

Here's my table.

Status: Done, except for the fact that EVERY YEAR the Hawks don't bother making all of the information available about their players, so I may or may not fill in height/weight for them later.

I will also fill in the actual draft round 1 lottery info below, despite that I wasn't liveblogging, and I have a few comments about a few players in here as well.

Name                   Pos  HS/Univ/Company         T/B   DOB          Ht/Wt  
--------------------   ---  ---------------         ---   ----------   -------
Giants
x Yasunobu Okugawa      P   Seiryo HS               R/R   04/16/2001   183/84
x Tetsu Miyagawa        P   Toshiba                 R/R   10/10/1995   177/80
1 Kenshin Hotta         P   Aomori Yamada HS        R/R   05/21/2001   185/80
2 Ryu Ohta              P   JR East                 R/R   11/15/1998   190/94
3 Hirokazu Kikuta       IF  Joso Gakuin HS          R/R   07/23/2001   182/93
4 Haruto Inoue          P   Maebashi Shogyo HS      L/L   05/13/2001   175/72
5 Shinnosuke Yamase     C   Seiryo HS               R/R   05/04/2001   177/82
6 Kaito Itoh            OF  Sakata Minami HS        L/L   04/02/2001   187/88

i1 Hayato Hirama        IF  Tokushima Indigo Socks  R/L   12/16/1996   173/75
i2 Sota Katoh           OF  Musashino Heat Bears    R/L   04/15/1998   187/89

Seibu
x Roki Sasaki           P   Ofunato HS              R/R   11/03/2001   190/86
1 Tetsu Miyagawa        P   Toshiba                 R/R   10/10/1995   177/80
2 Shota Hamaya          P   MHPS (Mitsubishi Power) L/L   01/26/1999   175/77
3 Koki Matsuoka         P   Musashino Heat Bears    R/R   08/31/2000   180/81
4 Ryota Kawano          IF  Kyushu Gakuin HS        R/S   06/28/2001   178/78
5 Sena Tsuge            C   Honda Suzuka            R/R   06/03/1997   174/83
6 Hiroki Inoue          P   Nichidai Sanko HS       R/R   07/17/2001   181/82
7 Towa Uema             P   Tokushima Indigo Socks  R/R   01/31/2001   180/79
8 Junichiro Kishi     IF/OF Tokushima Indigo Socks  R/R   12/08/1996   175/78

i1 Toshihiro Idei       P   Kanagawa Univ           R/R   04/29/1997   185/70

Baystars
1 Keito Mori            IF  Toin Gakuen HS          R/L   01/28/2002   175/75
2 Yuya Sakamoto         P   Ritsumeikan Univ        L/L   07/28/1997   180/83
3 Hiromu Ise            P   Meiji Univ              R/R   03/07/1998   181/90
4 Junpei Azuma          C   Chiben Wakayama HS      R/R   07/03/2001   172/77
5 Hayato Tanabe         IF  Kaisei HS               R/R   12/22/2001   185/83
6 Tatsuo Ebina          OF  Aomori Univ             R/R   09/20/1997   185/88
7 Sota Asada            P   Ariake HS               R/R   04/23/2001   182/84

Hawks
x Takaya Ishikawa       IF  Toho HS                 R/R   06/22/2001   185/90
1 Naoki Satoh           OF  JR West                 R/R   09/03/1998   177/78
2 Takashi Umeno         C   Tokai Univ              R/R   07/15/1997   173/83
3 Yuki Tsumori          P   Tohoku Fukushi Univ     R/R   01/21/1998   177/78
4 Jui Kobayashi         IF  Tokaidai Sapporo HS     R/R   05/07/2001   183/86
5 Tatsuru Yanagimachi   OF  Keio Univ               R/L   04/20/1997   180/72

i1 Soichiro Ishizuka    C   Kurosawajiri HS         R/R   06/07/2001   181/83
i2 Tomohisa Ohzeki      P   Sendai Univ             L/L   12/14/1997   186/95
i3 Daisuke Itoh         IF  Hachinohe Kosei HS      R/R   07/27/2001
i4 Haruki Katsuren      IF  Konan HS                R/L   04/30/2001
i5 Hidetora Funakoshi   OF  Johoku HS               R/R   08/23/2001
i6 Shota Araki          IF  Chiharadai HS           R/R   04/05/2001
i7 Shun Murakami        P   Yamagata Chuo HS        L/L   11/01/2001

Tigers
x Yasunobu Okugawa      P   Seiryo HS               R/R   04/16/2001   183/84
1 Junya Nishi           P   Soka Gakuen HS          R/R   09/13/2001   184/85
2 Kota Inoue            OF  Riseisha HS             R/R   08/12/2001   187/97
3 Masaki Oyokawa        P   Yokohama HS             L/L   04/18/2001   183/74
4 Joh Endoh             IF  Tokaidai Sagami HS      R/L   09/19/2001   178/84
5 Kento Fujita          C   Chukyodai Chukyo HS     R/R   10/18/2001   173/73
6 Ippei Ogawa           P   Tokai Univ Kyushu       R/R   06/03/1997   182/80

i1 Dan Onodera          OF  Osaka Shogyo Univ       R/R   03/17/1998   183/82
i2 Kota Okuyama         OF  Shizuoka Univ           R/R   09/03/1997   186/93

Eagles
x Roki Sasaki           P   Ofunato HS              R/R   11/03/2001   190/86
1 Hiroto Kobukata       IF  Osaka Gas               R/L   09/28/1995   168/69
2 Fumiya Kurokawa       IF  Chiben Wakayama HS      R/L   04/17/2001   182/85
3 Taisei Tsurusaki      P   Keio Univ               R/R   10/10/1997   177/85
4 Atsuki Mutoh          OF  Miyakonojo East HS      L/L   06/15/2001   178/73
5 Yohma Fukumori        P   Kyushu Sangyo Univ      R/R   09/27/1997   178/87
6 Ryota Takinaka        P   Honda Suzuka            R/R   12/20/1994   180/93
7 Kei Mizukami          C   Akashi Shogyo HS        R/R   07/05/2001   172/73

i1 Yuto Egawa           C   Oita HS                 R/R   06/29/2001   177/81
i2 Shinri Komune        P   Kagoshima Johsei HS     R/L   12/01/2001   189/88
i3 Maaki Yamazaki       IF  Hawaii Univ             R/L   09/26/1995   182/84
i4 Kiyoharu Sawano      IF  Homare HS               R/L   03/09/2002   184/84

Carp
1 Masato Morishita      P   Meiji Univ              R/R   08/25/1997   180/73
2 Koki Ugusa            OF  Hosei Univ              R/L   04/17/1997   185/81
3 Hiroto Suzuki         P   Kasumigaura HS          R/R   10/07/2001   186/79
4 Yuya Nirasawa         IF  Hanasaki Tokuharu HS    R/L   05/20/2001   178/80
5 Tomoki Ishihara       C   Tenri Univ              R/R   02/03/1998   173/75
6 Shogo Tamamura        P   Fukui Kenritsu Nyu HS   L/L   04/16/2001   177/75

i1 Taiki Mochimaru      C   Asahikawadai HS         R/L   10/26/2001   177/80
i2 Motohide Kinoshita   OF  Tsuruga Kehi HS         L/L   07/25/2001   183/83
i3 Takamasa Une         P   Kagawa Olive Guyners    R/S   09/09/1995   177/83

Marines
1 Roki Sasaki           P   Ofunato HS              R/R   11/03/2001   190/86
2 Toshiya Satoh         C   Toyo Univ               R/L   01/27/1998   180/77
3 Akito Takabe          OF  Kokushikan Univ         R/L   12/11/1997   178/72
4 Rikuto Yokoyama       P   Senshudai Matsudo HS    R/R   08/05/2001   179/76
5 Koki Fukuda           IF  Hosei Univ              R/L   11/16/1997   176/80

i1 Fumiya Motomae       P   Hokusho Univ            L/L   10/02/1997   175/76
i2 Shota Ueda           C   Keio Univ               R/R   12/18/1997   180/83

Dragons
1 Takaya Ishikawa       IF  Toho HS                 R/R   06/22/2001   185/90
2 Yuki Hashimoto        P   Osaka Sangyo Univ       L/L   01/08/1998   180/71
3 Yuichiro Okano        P   Toshiba                 R/R   04/16/1994   180/85
4 Yuya Gunji            C   Keio Univ               R/R   12/17/1997   180/83
5 Yuki Okabayashi       P   Komono HS               R/L   02/22/2002   177/74
6 Ryushin Takeuchi      P   Sapporo Sosei HS        R/L   12/11/2001   178/77

i1 Hiroaki Matsuda      P   Nagoya Univ             L/L   05/16/1997   176/80

Fighters
x Roki Sasaki           P   Ofunato HS              R/R   11/03/2001   190/86
1 Ryusei Kawano         P   JFE West                L/L   05/30/1998   174/82
2 Kazuaki Tateno        P   Tokai Rika              R/R   04/03/1998   181/82
3 Kyohei Ueno           IF  Kyoto International HS  R/R   04/26/2001   172/68
4 Kenya Suzuki          P   JX-ENEOS                R/L   12/11/1997   176/82
5 Daiki Mochizuki       P   Soka Univ               R/R   02/01/1998   187/85
6 Yuki Umebayashi       C   Hiroshima Bunka Univ    R/R   03/14/1998   173/85
7 Shoto Kataoka         OF  East Japan Intl Univ    R/L   11/16/1997   184/78

i1 Hokuto Miyata        OF  Fukuoka Univ            R/S   12/02/1997   177/69
i2 Ryunosuke Higuchi    IF  Niigata Albirex         R/R   07/04/1994   168/84
i3 Ryota Hasegawa       P   Niigata Albirex         R/L   11/08/1995   188/98

Swallows
1 Yasunobu Okugawa      P   Seiryo HS               R/R   04/16/2001   183/84
2 Daiki Yoshida         P   Nittai Univ             R/R   07/27/1997   175/75
3 Koki Sugiyama         P   Soka Univ               R/L   06/25/1997   182/84
4 Hiroki Ohnishi        P   Osaka Sangyo Univ       R/R   11/08/1997   175/83
5 Hideki Nagaoka        IF  Yachiyo Shoin HS        R/L   09/26/2001   175/74
6 Ryusei Takeoka        IF  Hachinohe Kosei HS      R/L   05/28/2001   178/77

Buffaloes
x Takaya Ishikawa       IF  Toho HS                 R/R   06/22/2001   185/90
x Ryusei Kawano         P   JFE West                L/L   05/30/1998   174/82
1 Hiroya Miyagi         P   Konan HS                L/L   08/25/2001   172/80
2 Kotaro Kurebayashi    IF  Suruga Sogo HS          R/R   02/07/2002   186/82
3 Ryota Muranishi       P   Kinki Univ              R/L   06/06/1997   174/76
4 Yuito Mae             P   Tsuda Gakuen HS         R/R   08/13/2001   182/88
5 Shoki Katsumata       IF  Kokusai Budo Univ       R/L   07/20/1997   178/84

i1 Kazuma Satoh         P   Yokohama Hayato HS      L/L   04/16/2001   189/88
i2 Fuuta Tanioka        P   Takeda HS               R/R   08/29/2001   176/82
i3 Yuito Nakata         P   Osaka Toin HS           R/R   09/13/2001   181/90
i4 Yamato Hirano        OF  Nissho HS               R/R   08/07/2001   177/78
i5 Ryoya Tsurumi        C   Tokiwadai HS            R/R   11/22/2001   174/75
i6 Seiichiro Ohshita    OF  Hakuoh Univ             R/R   11/03/1997   171/89
i7 Yugo Satoh           OF  Sendai Univ             R/R   04/02/1997   182/90
i8 Masayuki Matsuyama   P   Toyama Thunderbirds     R/R   08/18/2000   174/76

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Draft 2018 Liveblogging

Hello and welcome to my 13th annual anguish over hoping the Giants don't draft my favorite college players, also known as Marinerds NPB Draft Liveblogging!

[liveblog stuff moved to underneath draft chart stuff -- Draft chart is 99.9% finished as of 6pm California time on the 25th. I just don't have birthdays for Hawks ikusei players because their website is useless.]


Name                   Pos  HS/Univ/Company         T/B   DOB          Ht/Wt  
--------------------   ---  ---------------         ---   ----------   -------
Eagles
x Kyota Fujiwara
1 Ryosuke Tatsumi       OF  Ritsumeikan Univ        R/L   12/27/1996   180/72
2 Hikaru Ohta           C   Osaka Shogyo Univ       R/R   10/14/1996   177/75
3 Shuichiro Hikiji      P   Kurashiki Shogyo HS     R/R   06/03/2000   188/84
4 Hayato Yuge           P   Subaru                  L/L   04/06/1994   193/105
5 Tomoki Satoh          P   Yamagata Chuo HS        L/L   06/05/2000   184/82
6 Yoshiaki Watanabe     IF  Meiji Univ              R/L   01/08/1997   180/79
7 Yuya Ogoh             OF  Rissho Univ             R/L   08/03/1996   178/85
8 Sora Suzuki           P   Fuji Univ               L/L   08/19/1996   184/77

i1 Kotaro Seimiya       P   Yachiyo Shoin HS        R/L   05/26/2000   190/85
i2 Yoshiki Norimoto     P   Yamagishi Logisters     R/L   05/14/1994   174/76

(lol at this kid whose name LOOKS like "Kotaro Kiyomiya" but is actually Seimiya)

Tigers
x Kyota Fujiwara
x Ryosuke Tatsumi
1 Koji Chikamoto        OF  Osaka Gas               L/L   11/09/1994   170/72
2 Ryuhei Obata          IF  Nobeoka Gakuen HS       R/L   09/21/2000   181/73
3 Seiya Kinami          IF  Honda                   R/L   06/15/1994   178/80
4 Yukiya Saitoh         P   Honda                   R/L   01/05/1995   184/90
5 Riku Kawahara         P   Souseikan HS            L/L   12/12/2000   184/80
6 Atsuki Yuasa          P   BCL Toyama Thunderbirds R/R   07/17/1999   183/88

i1 Yuya Katayama        C   Fukui Miracle Elephants R/L   06/18/1994   177/83

Marines
1 Kyota Fujiwara        OF  Osaka Toin HS           L/L   05/06/2000   181/78
2 Yusuke Azuma          P   Nittai Univ             R/R   04/04/1996   172/80
3 Kazuya Ojima          P   Waseda Univ             L/L   07/07/1996   177/81
4 Koki Yamaguchi        OF  Meioh HS                R/R   08/18/2000   182/85
5 Toshiya Nakamura      P   Asia Univ               L/L   07/08/1996   177/86
6 Takuro Furuya         P   Narashino HS            R/R   04/21/2000   182/76
7 Shin Matsuda          IF  Honda                   R/R   08/29/1994   188/95
8 Hideto Doi            P   Matsuyama Seiryo HS     R/R   04/02/2000   191/84

i1 Mizuki Kamata        P   Tokushima Indigo Socks  R/R   09/06/1995   180/91

Dragons
1 Akira Neo             P   Osaka Toin HS           R/L   04/19/2000   177/80
2 Kodai Umetsu          P   Toyo Univ               R/R   10/24/1996   187/90
3 Akiyoshi Katsuno      P   Mitsubishi Juko Nagoya  R/R   06/12/1997   183/89
4 Kota Ishibashi        C   Kanto Daiichi HS        R/R   12/07/2000   180/87
5 Kenshin Kakikoshi     P   Yamanashi Gakuin HS     L/L   04/03/2000   184/96
6 Kaname Takino         OF  Osaka Shogyo Univ       R/L   07/08/1996   185/76 

Buffaloes
Kaito Kozono
1 Ryo Ohta              IF  Tenri HS                R/R   02/14/2001   181/76
2 Yuma Tongu            C   Asia Univ               R/R   11/17/1996   181/97
3 Yudai Aranishi        P   Honda Kumamoto          R/R   08/25/1992   178/83
4 Ryoga Tomiyama        P   Toyota                  L/L   05/03/1997   178/82
5 Sho Gibo              P   KBC Mirai Okinawa HS    R/L   11/26/2000   174/67
6 Yu Hidarisawa         P   JX-ENEOS                L/L   12/28/1994   171/76
7 Keita Nakagawa        IF  Toyo Univ               R/R   04/12/1996   180/75

i1 Taisei Urushihara    P   Niigata Iryo Fukushi U  R/L   09/10/1996   182/83

(Tongu was a catcher at Asia-dai but the Buffaloes are listing him as IF for some reason)
(Aranishi is listed with an 8/25 birthday everywhere EXCEPT the Buffaloes site)

Baystars
Kaito Kozono
1 Taiga Kamichatani     P   Toyo Univ               R/R   08/31/1996   181/83
2 Yukiya Itoh           IF  Rissho Univ             R/R   08/30/1996   182/95
3 Shinichi Ohnuki       P   Sumitomo Metal Kashima  R/R   02/03/1994   181/75
4 Atsushi Katsumata     P   Nichidai Tsurugaoka HS  R/L   05/22/2000   180/80
5 Kyosuke Mashiko       C   Seirantaito HS          R/R   12/27/2000   176/90
6 Naoto Chino           IF  BCL Niigata Albirex     R/R   02/16/1999   181/81

i1 Daita Miyagi         P   Shiga Gakuen HS         R/R   07/15/2000   181/73

Fighters
x Akira Neo
1 Kosei Yoshida         P   Kannano HS              R/R   01/12/2001   175/84
2 Yuki Nomura           IF  Hanasaki Tokuharu HS    R/R   06/26/2000   185/90
3 Tsubasa Nabatame      P   Nippon Tsuun            R/R   02/19/1995   176/86
4 Chusei Mannami        OF  Yokohama HS             R/R   04/07/2000   190/90
5 Ren Kakigi            P   Osaka Toin HS           R/R   06/25/2000   181/88
6 Yua Tamiya            C   Narita HS               R/L   06/13/2000   174/77
7 Suguru Fukuda         P   Seisa Dohto Univ        L/L   12/14/1996   170/75

i1 Kazuyoshi Ebihara    OF  BCL Toyama Thunderbirds R/L   09/13/1995   188/92

Giants
x Akira Neo
x Ryosuke Tatsumi
1 Yuki Takahashi        P   Hachinohe Gakuin Univ   L/L   02/01/1997   178/82        
2 Riku Masuda           IF  Meishu Hitachi HS       R/R   06/17/2000   178/80
3 Daisuke Naoe          P   Matsusho Gakuen HS      R/R   06/20/2000   184/77
4 Kai Yokogawa          P   Osaka Toin HS           L/L   08/30/2000   190/90
5 Yoshiya Matsui        IF  Orio Aishin HS          R/L   06/18/2000   191/90
6 Shosei Togoh          P   Seishin Ursula HS       R/R   04/04/2000   184/70

i1 Kota Yamashita       OF  Kendai Takasaki HS      R/L   11/15/2000   176/80
i2 Kaisei Hirai         P   Gifu Daiichi HS         R/R   09/12/2000   184/73
i3 Shohei Numata        P   Asahikawadai HS         R/R   06/24/2000   175/64
i4 Hibiki Kuroda        IF  Tsuruga Kehi HS         R/R   07/21/2000   184/75

Hawks
x Kaito Kozono
x Ryosuke Tatsumi
1 Hiroshi Kaino         P   Toyo Univ               R/R   11/16/1996   185/83
2 Kazuki Sugiyama       P   Mitsubishi Hiroshima    R/R   12/07/1997   192/86
3 Daiju Nomura          IF  Waseda Jitsugyo HS      R/R   09/10/2000   172/82
4 Yugo Bandoh           P   JR East                 R/R   12/27/1995   181/76
5 Shun Mizutani         OF  Iwami Chisuikan HS      R/R   03/09/2001   192/94
6 Keisuke Izumi         P   Kanazawa Seiryo Univ    R/R   03/02/1997   187/82
7 Masato Okumura        P   Mitsubishi Pwr Systems  R/R   08/14/1992   177/80

i1 Riku Watanabe        C   Kamimura Gakuen HS      R/L                185/80
i2 Naoya Okamoto        P   Nodai Okhotsk Univ      L/L                180/72
i3 Tomoaki Shigeta      P   Kokushikan Univ         R/R                185/77
i4 Takamasa Nakamura    OF  Nishinihon Tankidai HS  R/R                183/87

Swallows
x Akira Neo
x Taiga Kamichatani
1 Noboru Shimizu        P   Kokugakuin Univ         R/L   10/15/1996   180/84
2 Shota Nakayama        IF  Hosei Univ              R/R   09/22/1996   185/95
3 Yuta Ichikawa         P   Meitoku Gijuku          R/R   03/29/2001   185/75
4 Taiki Hamada          OF  Meiho HS                R/R   09/04/2000   178/80
5 Koshiro Sakamoto      P   Sumikin Hirohata        L/L   09/09/1994   180/70
6 Yuta Suzuki           P   Nihon Bunri HS          R/R   08/02/2000   182/87
7 Takuma Kubo           P   Kyushu Kyoritsu Univ    L/L   07/27/1996   175/75
8 Taisei Yoshida        IF  Meiji Yasuda Seimei     R/L   03/07/1995   174/78

i1 Taishi Uchiyama      C   Tochigi Golden Braves   R/R   04/21/1996   172/77
i2 Yu Matsumoto         IF  Fukui Miracle Elephants R/L   02/05/1995   180/82

Lions
1 Wataru Matsumoto      P   Nittai Univ             R/R   11/28/1996   176/83
2 Yutaro Watanabe       P   Urawa Gakuin HS         R/R   09/21/2000   190/90
3 Kakeru Yamanobe       IF  Mitsubishi Okazaki      R/R   05/24/1994   170/72
4 Kaito Awatsu          P   East Japan Int'l Univ   R/R   03/01/1997   180/80
5 Shoya Makino          C   Yugakkan HS             R/L   03/04/2001   178/77
6 Ryosuke Moriwaki      P   Sega Sammy              R/R   07/13/1992   175/70
7 Ryusei Satoh          IF  Fuji Univ               R/R   01/15/1997   173/81

i1 Aoi Tohno            P   Nihon Keizai Univ       L/L   11/30/1996   183/75
i2 Jiyu Ohkubo          P   Hokkai HS               R/R   08/02/2000   198/88
i3 Daichi Nakaguma      C   Tokuyama Univ           R/L   08/27/1996   176/84

Carp
1 Kaito Kozono          IF  Hotoku Gakuen HS        R/L   06/07/2000   178/79
2 Sotaro Shimauchi      P   Kyushu Kyoritsu Univ    R/R   10/14/1996   180/76
3 Kota Hayashi          IF  Chiben Wakayama HS      R/L   11/16/2000   181/87
4 Takuto Nakagami       IF  Gifu Shogyo HS          R/R   05/29/2000   175/85
5 Norihiko Tanaka       P   Komono HS               R/R   10/19/2000   173/80
6 Yuya Shozui           OF  Asia Univ               R/R   08/31/1996   181/90
7 Ryutaro Hatsuki       IF  Kamimura Gakuen HS      R/L   04/19/2000   167/70

i1 Minoru Ohmori        OF  Shizuoka Sangyo Univ    R/L   08/31/1996   179/70


This year's draft is on Thursday the 25th in Japan at 5pm; which means Thursday morning at 1am here in California.

I've got my usual set of draft magazines, a whole ton of industrial league info, various high school stuff, and yet I still have no idea what will happen on draft day.  This year I don't actually have all that many favorites in the draft, believe it or not -- I mean, there's the usual assortment of college guys I've been watching for a while (I expect Yoshiaki Watanabe from Meiji and Shota Nakayama from Hosei and Kazuya Ojima from Waseda to get drafted anyway, as well as the Toyodai Trio (Umetsu, Kamichatani, and Kaino, all pitchers) and I know a lot of my friends are huge fans of Wataru Matsumoto from Nittaidai.  But unlike most years, I don't think I have anyone in this draft who I know all that well personally (infact the only one I've met is Nakayama).  This is probably partially because I've dedicated more of my time to the Fighters when I'm over in Japan, and partially because it rained a LOT this year when I was visiting, and partially because I shifted over to cheering for Todai more in the last few years :)

Also I apologize that this is literally the first post I've made in a year; if you've followed me for a while you know that I do still tweet a lot when I'm in Japan.  I started writing a post about Fighters spring training this year but it was very frustrating and I ended up never posting it.  Sorry!

HEY! Guess what, the Sports Bull stream actually seems to be working in the US! And I've even got it on my Pixel so I can use my laptop for typing in names/info!

Otherwise I'll still be watching the picks come in on various news sources such as Nikkan Sports as usual.

1am: And it's starting!  Wheee!  (I am such a Todai fangirl that I was almost more excited to see Endoh-san walking in behind Kida-san and the main posse.)

1:15am: I take it back.  Sportsbull works but it keeps randomly coming with ads in the middle of everything.  Well, we're getting underway with the first round...

Rakuten: Kyota Fujiwara, OF, Osaka Toin HS
Hanshin: Fujiwara
Marines: Fujiwara
Dragons: Akira Neo, IF, Osaka Toin HS
Orix: Kaito Kozono, IF, Hotoku Gakuen HS
Baystars: Kozono
Fighters: Neo
Giants: Neo
Hawks: Kozono
Swallows: Neo
Lions: Wataru Matsumoto, RHP, Nittai Univ
Carp: Kozono

WOW that is even more of a cluster than most years.  4, 4, 3, and the Seibu Lions just get Wataru Matsumoto uncontested (DAAAAAAAAAANG).

1:20am: First runoff is for Fujiwara, and he goes to the Chiba Lotte Marines!  Whee.

1:23am: Next runoff is for Neo, and he goes to Chunichi.  I don't actually know how I feel right now -- I almost expected Kida to pick him at this point, believe it or not...

1:27am: Next runoff for Kozono, and he goes to Hiroshima.  Well, okay then.

Now people get to choose their second first round, and I start entering stuff into my chart.

Rakuten: Ryosuke Tatsumi, OF, Ritsumeikan Univ
Hanshin: Tatsumi
Orix: Ryo Ohta, IF, Tenri HS
Baystars: Taiga Kamichatani, RHP, Toyo Univ
Fighters: Kosei Yoshida, RHP Kannano HS
Giants: Tatsumi
Hawks: Tatsumi
Swallows: Kamichatani

1:35am: And now lottery for Tatsumi... and he goes to Rakuten!

1:38am: Lottery for Kamichatani, and... he goes to Yokohama.  Huh...

And now we are on to the THIRD FIRST ROUND!!

Hanshin: Koji Chikamoto, OF, Osaka Gas
Giants: Yuki Takahashi, LHP, Hachinohe Univ
Hawks: Hiroshi Kaino, RHP Toyo Univ
Yakult: Noboru Shimizu, RHP Kokugakuin Univ

And that's that.  Going to take a little break to tabulate this all at 1:44am now.

Oh, wait.  So.  ACTUAL FIRST ROUND IN FULL:
Rakuten: Ryosuke Tatsumi, OF, Ritsumeikan Univ
Hanshin: Koji Chikamoto, OF, Osaka Gas
Marines: Kyota Fujiwara, OF, Osaka Toin HS
Dragons: Akira Neo, IF, Osaka Toin HS
Orix: Ryo Ohta, IF, Tenri HS
Baystars: Taiga Kamichatani, RHP, Toyo Univ
Fighters: Kosei Yoshida, RHP Kannano HS
Giants: Yuki Takahashi, LHP, Hachinohe Gakuin Univ
Hawks: Hiroshi Kaino, RHP Toyo Univ
Yakult: Noboru Shimizu, RHP Kokugakuin Univ
Lions: Wataru Matsumoto, RHP, Nittai Univ
Carp: Kaito Kozono, IF, Hotoku Gakuen HS

I'm probly going heads-down into the grid from now on...

btw just a note: the FIGHTERS ARE ACTUALLY PARTICIPATING IN THE IKUSEI DRAFT THIS IS A HISTORIC FIRST WE HAVE NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE.

Another funny thing: at the end of the 8th round they were like "Okay, all the teams are finished choosing... wait, our bad, sorry, Rakuten isn't finished.  Rakuten?" and Rakuten was like "We're finished choosing."

I don't have a ton of commentary other than to say at least the 6 players I named as "will get picked" all got picked.  I guess that's not too difficult though.  Surprised that Watanabe went as late as he did, to be honest.

Actually that's a lie. As I've been entering these I noticed that there are a LOT more position players than pitchers, or at least, way more than I would expect normally in the draft. Also it felt like for a while there was a lack of lefties, and that we have a surprising number of kids at the far ends of the age spectrum, ie, a lot of March and April birthdays.

It's 4:44am right now and I've just finished the main chart (aside from a few birthdays I couldn't dig up).  I'm going to briefly peer at Ikusei and see how many there are and I might put that off until the morning, so if this post doesn't have ikusei yet, that's why.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Draft 2017 Liveblogging

Hello and welcome to my 12th annual anguish over hoping the Giants don't draft my favorite college players, also known as Marinerds NPB Draft Liveblogging!

This year's draft is on Thursday the 26th in Japan at 5pm; which means Thursday morning at 1am here in California. 

Moving the commentary to below the grid now.  Current state of things is that it's Friday morning and I have the entire draft table translated and the entire ikusei list, except that the Hawks didn't put out much info on their ikusei guys and I haven't had time to research them yet.

Name                   Pos  HS/Univ/Company         T/B   DOB          Ht/Wt  
--------------------   ---  ---------------         ---   ----------   -------
Marines
1 Kotaro Kiyomiya
1 Hisanori Yasuda       IF  Riseisha HS             R/L   04/15/1999   188/95
2 Yudai Fujioka         IF  Toyota                  R/L   08/08/1993   177/78
3 Daiki Yamamoto        P   Mitsubishi Okayama      L/L   11/10/1995   182/73
4 Tsuyoshi Sugano       OF  Hitachi                 R/L   05/06/1993   173/80
5 Keita Watanabe        P   NTT Higashinihon        R/R   09/13/1993   177/70
6 Shoji Nagano          P   Honda                   L/L   03/02/1993   181/82

i1 Koshiro Wada         OF  Toyama Thunderbirds     L/L   01/14/1999   185/72
i2 Ryotaro Mori         P   Miyakonojo Shogyo HS    R/L   04/22/1999   180/80

Swallows
1 Kotaro Kiyomiya
1 Munetaka Murakami     C   Kyushu Gakuin HS        R/L   02/02/2000   186/96
2 Yuma Ohshita          P   Mitsubishi Hiroshima    R/L   07/06/1992   179/84
3 Harutaka Kuramoto     P   Okayama Shogyo Univ     R/R   05/16/1995   186/95
4 Yasutaka Shiomi       OF  JX-ENEOS                R/R   06/12/1993   179/73
5 Yuto Kanakubo         P   Tokai Ichihara Boyo HS  R/L   11/04/1999   183/75
6 Takeshi Miyamoto      IF  Nara Gakuen Univ        R/L   04/03/1995   181/78
7 Naoki Matsumoto       C   Seino Unyu              R/R   10/17/1993   177/85
8 Takumi Numata         P   Ishikawa Million Stars  R/R   03/04/1994   185/85

Fighters
1 Kotaro Kiyomiya       IF  Waseda Jitsugyo HS      R/L   05/25/1999   184/102
2 Takahiro Nishimura    P   NTT Higashinihon        R/R   05/06/1993   177/87
3 Eito Tanaka           P   Yanagigaura HS          R/L   07/13/1999   184/70
4 Yuhei Nanba           IF  Soshi Gakuen HS         R/L   05/06/1999   178/76
5 Ryuji Kitaura         P   Hakuohdai Ashikaga HS   L/L   01/12/2000   184/85
6 Ryotaro Suzuki        P   Tohoku Gakuin Univ      R/R   02/18/1996   183/83
7 Kohei Miyadai         P   Tokyo Univ              L/L   07/01/1995   178/83

Dragons
1 Shosei Nakamura
1 Hiroshi Suzuki        P   Yamaha                  R/R   03/22/1997   181/95
2 Sho Ishikawa          P   Seiran Taito HS         R/L   12/14/1999   179/81
3 Wataru Takamatsu      IF  Takikawa #2 HS          R/L   07/02/1999   176/65
4 Tatsuya Shimizu       P   Hanasaki Tokuharu HS    R/R   11/03/1999   182/83
5 Kosuke Itoh           OF  Chukyodai Chukyo HS     R/R   02/03/2000   173/76
6 Takumi Yamamoto       P   Nishinomiya Shiritsu HS R/R   01/31/2000   167/71

i1 Akito Ohkura         P   Tokushima Indigo Socks  R/R   05/15/1994   191/88
i2 Kento Mark Ishida    P   Ryukoku Univ            R/R   07/18/1995   184/83

Buffaloes
1 Daiki Tajima          P   JR Higashinihon         L/L   08/03/1996   182/77
2 Kohei Suzuki          P   Hitachi                 R/R   01/21/1994   186/88
3 Shuhei Fukuda         IF  NTT Higashinihon        R/L   08/08/1992   169/69
4 Hitomi Honda          P   Seisa Kokusai HS        R/L   07/27/1999   181/75
5 Ryo Nishimura         C   Subaru                  R/R   02/21/1996   176/75
6 Hayato Nishiura       OF  Meitoku Gijuku HS       R/L   05/21/1999   178/70
7 Shinya Hirosawa       IF  Oita Shogyo HS          R/R   08/11/1999   175/67
8 Tatsuya Yamaashi      IF  Honda Suzuka            R/R   10/26/1993   174/74

i1 Hiroki Inatomi       C   Sanda Shosei HS         R/L   04/27/1999   178/88
i2 Kohei Azuma          P   Kobe Koryo HS           R/R   12/14/1999   178/73
i3 Akihito Hiyane       IF  Hiryu HS                R/R   08/25/1999   182/82
i4 Felipe Kisu Desouza  C   Gotenbani HS            R/R   09/04/1999   176/73

Giants
1 Kotaro Kiyomiya
1 Munetaka Murakami 
1 Takuya Kuwahara       P   Chuo University         R/R   03/26/1996   175/78
2 Yukinori Kishida      C   Osaka Gas               R/R   10/10/1996   175/78
3 Takumi Ohshiro        C   NTT Nishinihon          R/L   02/11/1993   187/86
4 Takumi Kitamura       IF  Asia Univ               R/R   08/29/1995   181/87
5 Shunta Tanaka         IF  Hitachi                 R/L   08/18/1993   180/83
6 Akihiro Wakabayashi   IF  JX-ENEOS                R/S   08/26/1993   180/77
7 Kaito Murakami        OF  Nara Gakuen Univ        R/R   07/07/1995   189/94
8 Dai Yuasa             IF  Takasaki Fukushi HS     R/R   01/24/2000   170/67

i1 Kenshin Higa         IF  Moriokadai HS           R/L   01/12/2000   180/82
i2 Shingo Yamakami      P   Tokiwa HS               R/R   09/21/1999   183/75
i3 Shun Kasai           OF  Tohoku Fukushi Univ     R/R   04/20/1995   180/80
i4 Yudai Tanaka         P   Haguro HS               R/R   09/14/1999   183/75
i5 Rui Hirohata         C   Rissho Univ             R/L   06/17/1995   177/72
i6 Shohei Koyama        C   Kansai Univ             R/R   03/25/1996   170/70
i7 Koki Orishita        IF  Shinno HS               R/R   02/14/2000   177/86
i8 Sota Arai            OF  Sekine Gakuen HS        R/R   09/27/1999   190/98

Eagles
1 Kotaro Kiyomiya
1 Munetaka Murakami 
1 Hiroki Kondoh         P   Okayama Shogyo Univ     R/R   06/27/1995   187/92
2 Masaki Iwami          OF  Keio Univ               R/R   07/10/1994   187/107
3 Tsuyoshi Yamasaki     IF  Kokugakuin Univ         R/L   12/29/1995   172/72
4 Yuki Watanabe         P   Yokohama Shokadai       L/L   11/08/1995   182/82
5 Akito Tanaka          OF  Hyogo Blue Thunders     R/R   03/05/1996   181/98
6 Kenji Nishimaki       IF  Sendai Ikuei            R/R   04/22/1999   168/73
7 Kanji Teraoka         OF  Ishikawa Million Stars  R/R   12/03/1992   180/85

i1 Ryotaro Ide          P   Kyushu Sangyo Univ      R/L   03/20/1996   185/83
i2 Kyoshiro Matsumoto   IF  Konan HS (Fukushima)    R/L   09/21/1999   172/72
i3 Kazuki Nakamura      OF  Tenri Univ              L/L   10/26/1995   173/75

Baystars
1 Katsuki Azuma         P   Ritsumeikan Univ        L/L   11/29/1995   170/70
2 Kazuki Kamizato       OF  Nihon Seimei            R/L   01/17/1994   178/83
3 Kosuke Sakaguchi      P   Hokkai HS               R/L   08/15/1999   186/80
4 Shunsuke Saitoh       P   JX-ENEOS                R/R   01/07/1994   176/81
5 Shuto Sakurai         P   Nichidai Sanko HS       L/L   06/25/1999   178/80
6 Koki Terada           P   Ishikawa Million Stars  R/R   01/05/1992   175/73
7 Shumei Miyamoto       IF  Panasonic               R/L   07/24/1996   176/81
8 Taishi Kusumoto       IF  Tohoku Fukushi Univ     R/L   07/07/1995   180/77
9 Yudai Yamamoto        C   Shiga United            R/R   09/11/1998   178/78

i1 Koh Nakagawa         P   Minoshima HS            R/R   10/02/1999   178/79

Lions
1 Daiki Tajima
1 Hiromasa Saitoh       P   Meiji Univ              L/L   06/03/1995   178/75
2 Manaya Nishikawa      OF  Hanasaki Tokuharu HS    R/L   06/10/1999   180/78
3 Sho Itoh              P   Tokushima Indigo Socks  R/R   02/10/1999   175/70
4 Kaima Taira           P   Yaeyama Shoko HS        R/L   11/15/1999   173/80
5 Kaito Yoza            P   Gifu Keizai Univ        R/R   09/15/1995   173/74
6 Ryusei Tsunashima     IF  Itoigakawa Hakurei HS   R/L   01/21/2000   178/72

i1 Wataru Takagi        OF  Shinsokan HS            R/L   12/06/1999   180/77
i2 Masato Saitoh        C   Hokkaido Kyoiku Univ    R/L   08/07/1995   180/86

Tigers

1 Kotaro Kiyomiya
1 Hisanori Yasuda
1 Kosuke Baba           P   Sendai Univ             R/R   05/18/1995   180/88
2 Haruto Takahashi      P   Asia Univ               L/L   11/07/1995   179/80
3 Takahiro Kumagai      IF  Rikkio Univ             R/R   11/10/1995   175/70
4 Kairi Shimada         P   Jobu Univ               R/L   02/06/1996   175/72
5 Masaki Tanigawa       P   Kyushu Mitsubishi       R/R   10/06/1992   175/76
6 Joichiro Maki         P   Keishin HS              R/L   09/23/1998   181/81

i1 Masaki Ishii         P   Jobu Univ               L/L   07/12/1995   180/82

Hawks
1 Kotaro Kiyomiya
1 Hisanori Yasuda
1 Kosuke Baba
1 Haruto Yoshizumi      P   Tsuruoka Higashi HS     R/R   03/12/2000   185/85
2 Rei Takahashi         P   Senshu Univ             R/R   11/02/1995   187/80
3 Shu Masuda            OF  Yokohama HS             R/R   05/21/1999   185/83
4 Arata Shiino          P   Kokushikan Univ         R/R   10/10/1995   194/88
5 Fumimaru Taura        P   Shugakukan HS           L/L   09/21/1999   170/75

i1 Shuto Ogata          P   Ishikawa Gijuku HS      R/L
i2 Ukyo Shuutoh         IF  Nodai Univ Okhotsk      R/L
i3 Richard Sunakawa     IF  Okinawa Shogaku HS      R/R
i4 Kotaro Ohtake        P   Waseda Univ             L/L
i5 Yamato Higurashi     OF  Tachibana Gakuen HS     L/L
i6 Yuta Watanabe        P   Niigata Albirex         L/L

note: the Hawks provided very little detail on their ikusei and I haven't had time to research yet

Carp
1 Shosei Nakamura       C   Koryo HS                R/R   06/06/1999   181/77
2 Sho Yamaguchi         P   Kumamoto Kogyo HS       R/L   07/13/1999   184/70
3 Brad Makoto Kenma     P   Nihon Bunri Univ        R/R   06/05/1995   192/90
4 Atsushi Nagai         OF  Nishogakusha HS         R/R   01/10/2000   178/91
5 Atsushi Endoh         P   Kasumigaura HS          R/R   04/08/1999   186/74
6 Takato Hiraoka        P   Chubu Gakuin Univ       R/R   08/05/1995   185/92

i1 Tsubasa Okabayashi   P   Komono HS (Mie)         R/R   08/09/1999   183/85
i2 Reira Fujii          P   Omagari Kogyo HS        R/R   09/17/1999   181/86
i3 Ken Sasaki           P   Okasa HS                R/R   04/02/1999   189/78


(commentary starts here)

I've got my usual set of draft magazines, a whole ton of industrial league info, various high school stuff, and yet I still have no idea what will happen on draft day.  There are a few players I have particular interest in; obviously Kohei Miyadai from Todai is the big question for me this year, and I wonder if my submarine boys Rei Takahashi (Senshu) and Yuya Hasegawa (Hosei) will get drafted at all.  I also feel like there are more katakana names in the set than usual, such as RHP Brad Makoto Kenma from Nihon Bunri, Deshawn Hiroyuki Satoh (Whitlow?) from Yokohama Shogyodai, Mark Kento Ishida from Ryukoku... the high school set has a Richard Sunagawa who looks like a big kid from Okinawa Shogyo and a Felipe Kisu Desouza who was born in Japan to Brazilian parents.  Also Montell Higuma, Julius's brother.

Anyway, hopefully the TBS stream will actually work this year, who knows.  More hopefully, we'll get to see/hear my favorite college catcher and best smile on TV, Tomohiro Kiire, covering the draft for them.  He's been tapped many times by their station to talk about Miyadai this semester, and I saw him a few times at Jingu when I was there this fall, so I can only hope :)
Otherwise I'll just be watching the picks come in on various news sources such as Nikkan Sports as usual.

1am!  I've got a sketchy but reasonably stable video feed of the draft.  Hopefully it'll work :)

Let's see, the order people walk in is the draft order:

Marines (big deal made about Iguchi coming in as new manager and all)
Swallows
Fighters
Dragons
Buffaloes
Giants (heh the announcers pointed out how they didn't make the playoffs.)
Eagles
Baystars (Rami-chan looking dapper and the whole thing about making the series after 19 years whee)
Lions
Tigers
Hawks
Carp

I would comment how every team is said to want to go after Kiyomiya but seriously I'm so sick of hearing about him I just hope the lottery is quick and painless and then we can get on with our lives :)

1:08am: okay, everyone is in there now.  Let the fun begin!
(by which I really mean there are 6 minutes of commercials and then maybe some fun will begin.  sheesh)

Okay, everyone's put in their first round picks.  And the reveals!

Marines: Kotaro Kiyomiya, IF, Waseda Jitsugyo HS
Swallows: Kiyomiya
Fighters: Kiyomiya (fuuuuuuuuuck)
Dragons: Shosei Nakamura, C, Koryo HS
Buffaloes: Daiki Tajima, LHP, JR Higashinihon
Giants: Kiyomiya
Eagles: Kiyomiya
Baystars: Katsuki Azuma, LHP, Ritsumeikan Univ
Lions: Tajima
Tigers: Kiyomiya
Hawks: Kiyomiya
Carp: Nakamura

So that's 7 teams going for Kiyomiya, 2 for Tajima, 2 for Nakamura, and then Azuma goes to the Baystars uncontested.  Good for them and for him :)

uhhh... I'm sorry for the delay.
the Fighters got Kiyomiya, which is my worst fucking nightmare, so I'm stalled a little while I deal with that fact.  It's now 1:26am and Hiroshima got Nakamura.

Orix gets Tajima! Well, that's gonna be a JR East party for sure.

Okay, well, second round of the first round about to begin...

Marines: Hisanori Yasuda, IF, Riseisha HS
Swallows: Munetaka Murakami, C Kyushu Gakuin HS
Dragons: Hiroshi Suzuki, RHP, Yamaha
Giants: Murakami
Eagles: Murakami
Lions: Hiromasa Saitoh, LHP, Meiji Univ
Tigers: Yasuda
Hawks: Yasuda

The announcers make a really big deal about which hand Kanemoto puts into the box each time for some reason but... looks like Yasuda is going to Chiba Lotte (it's now 1:37am)

Giants: Takuya Kuwahara, RHP, Chuo University
Eagles: Hiroki Kondoh, RHP, Okayama Shogyo University
Tigers: Kosuke Baba, RHP, Sendai University
Hawks: Baba (wow, another runoff)

(...and the Tigers get Baba, okay)

Hawks: Haruto Yoshizumi, RHP, Tsuruoka East HS

So the first round is "done" at 1:45am.  Fun times.  Okay, time for me to start filling out the grid.  Wake me up when Miyadai gets drafted, okay?

Long interview with Kiyomiya, he mentioned how he wants to go to the majors someday, the announcers were like "we hear you're studying English for it, wanna speak some?" and he was like "lol no that would be too embarrassing".

sigh

2:18am hey, Rakuten just took Masaki Iwami in the second round, I guess that's kind of a good thing, I would rather him be on the Fighters but well you know what happened so...

(also while entering data I noticed our second round pick Nishimura is exactly one year older than Kazunari Ishii because I just do that)

churning on...

2:21am: well my favorite college submariner Rei Takahashi got drafted!
...unfortunately, it was by the Hawks.

Also uh someone has to tell Rakuten that it is really not fair that they got Keio's Iwami AND Tsuyoshi Yamasaki from Kokugakuin, seriously.

So I went headsdown on the grid a whole lot and then at 3:20am the Fighters finally took Kohei Miyadai with their final and 7th pick and the entire evening has been worth it even if I'm still kind of bummed about where some people went.  It was kind of funny because basically, I was translating, translating, then saw suddenly (24) Twitter and knew exactly what had to have happened (I follow a lot of Todai fans/players, and a lot of Fighters fans, and so there was quite a bit of confluence).  Very happy to see it.  Now the only question is: will he come to Arizona, and will I get a uniform made before then somehow?  (I do feel like there's no real rush; I would be really surprised if he didn't spend a while in Kamagaya next year.)


A few stray thoughts as I wrap up for the evening:

On the foreign-ish players: Brad Kemna got drafted by the Carp, should be interesting to see how he fits in there, with Allen Kuri and all.  That Felipe Kisu Desouza kid I mentioned got taken by the Buffaloes in the ikusei draft, and Ishida Mark Kento went to the Dragons, and Richard Sunagawa to the Hawks.

So many Big 6 alumni got drafted from industrial teams that I almost entered their college several times (Fukuda from Meiji->NTT, Shunsuke Saitoh from Rikkio->ENEOS, also Naoki Matsumoto Rikkio->Seino).  Super glad to see Akihiro Wakabayashi (Hosei->ENEOS) got drafted even if it's by the Giants so he is now dead to me.  Someone pointed out on Twitter that his college, industrial, and pro teams are all orange-colored, kinda funny.

It felt very weird to enter draftees who were born in 2000 for some reason.

Several indie/industrial teams had a whole bunch of people taken, like the Ishikawa Million Stars in the BCL, and the NTT corporate teams, and Hitachi and ENEOS and all (well ENEOS always has a bunch, but still).

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Tokyo Big 6 will have a trial Rookie League this semester

Traditionally, the Tokyo Big 6 University League has had a Rookie Tournament at the end of each semester.  For the three days following the Waseda-Keio final weekend, there would be three days of this tournament, with each day having two games.  The first day would eliminate two teams.  The second day would result in two winners and two losers; the two winners would play each other for the championship on the third day, and the two losers would play each other for 3rd place.

The rules on who could participate in the tournament was "1st and 2nd years" with no restrictions as far as I know, although in general, the purpose of the tournament was for players who wouldn't normally get playing time in league games to get a chance to play in some real games at Jingu and all, so if a team had a bunch of star freshmen, you wouldn't likely see them in the Rookie games.

On the other hand, the Rookie Tournament also gave managers the option to try interesting things -- Megumi Takemoto made her pitching debut at Jingu in the Fall 1999 Rookie Tournament as the first Japanese woman to ever take the mound in a Big 6 game.  (The first woman was American Jodi Haller who pitched an inning for Meiji in 1995.)  Two years after Takemoto's rookie debut, she would face off against Meiji's "female Matsuzaka", Chihiro Kobayashi, in a real league match.

Anyway, this year they're going to try something different and do an entire round-robin Rookie League, with 15 games total, each team playing every other team once.  These games will be played mostly on weekends before normal Big 6 games, by the same pair of teams that play the first game that day (so you can see two games of Hosei-Waseda on April 9th, for example).  The reason for this is mainly that underclassmen wouldn't really get much playing time even in the Rookie tournament, especially if they were on a team that got eliminated on the first day, so this is a way for younger players to get more playing time without sacrificing any playing time for the upperclassmen who are trying to show off in front of scouts and prospective corporate team employers.  It's almost like a farm system!

http://www.big6.gr.jp/game/rookie/2017s/2017s_rookie_schedule.html

It sounds like for Todai, upperclassmen will be allowed to fill out the team.  This is because Todai doesn't have suisen, or "athletic recommendations", as a route to attending the university and participating in sports, unlike the other 5 schools.  The other 5 schools will have plenty of freshmen on their roster -- some of whom have been training with the university team since early in February.  In a lot of these cases, they are players who played at Koshien or otherwise had bright baseball careers in high school, and were allowed into the university with either a reduced entrance exam or in some cases, no entrance exam at all, especially if they came in through a feeder high school.

Keio is the weird case in that everyone who graduates from Keio HS can automatically attend Keio University, although graduating from Keio HS is no small feat.  I've also gotten the impression that it's rare for someone to not get into Hosei or Rikkio after graduating from their feeder schools (they just don't have that many).  Whereas Waseda has many feeder schools all over the country, and so there's no guarantee that attending one will get you into Waseda.

So if you saw a star player at Koshien who didn't go into the draft, and wondered what happened to them, chances are they already got themselves accepted to a top sports college before the normal applications for admission were even open.

Todai will get freshmen on their team, once people show up at the university and decide to join the baseball team and all, but it won't be in time for the rookie league.

Here's the schedule, translated:

DateStart TimeMatchesRegular Games After?
4/9 (Sun) 8:00am Hosei-Waseda H-W, M-T
4/15 (Sat) 8:00am Todai-Keio T-K, R-H
4/16 (Sun) 8:00am Rikkio-Hosei R-H, T-K
5/6 (Sat) 8:00am Hosei-Keio H-K, T-R
5/7 (Sun) 8:00am Todai-Rikkio T-R H-K
5/13 (Sat) 8:00am Keio-Meiji K-M, R-W
5/14 (Sun) 8:00am Rikkio-Waseda R-W, K-M
5/27 (Sat) 9:00am Todai-Meiji Soukeisen
5/28 (Sun) 9:00am Keio-Waseda Soukeisen
5/29 (Mon) 11:00am Waseda-Meiji Keio-Rikkio No, not even Swallows
5/30 (Tue) 11:00am Todai-Waseda Hosei-Meiji
5/31 (Wed) 11:00am Meiji-Rikkio Hosei-Todai

Note that if Soukeisen doesn't end in two days, those final games will be rescheduled around a little bit and they'll start having 2-game days whenever Soukeisen ends.

It looks like the weekends they are skipping are those with Swallows games at Jingu afterwards (at first I thought it was Golden Week, but then I looked at the Swallows schedule).  That makes sense, as sometimes even normal Big 6 games will go way over time and push back the Swallows gate opening time.  (Sometimes they let Swallows fans into the outfield while the college games are still going on!)

The timing rules for the Rookie League games is:
  • They only go 9 innings tops
  • It's ok if they end in a tie
  • Games are valid after 5 innings
  • New innings can't start after 1 hour and 50 minutes into the game, on days where there are normal Big 6 games afterwards
  • Rainouts after a game has started will not be replayed; rainouts called before the game starts will be rescheduled at the end of the season.
  • No tiebreak rules, unlike the normal rookie tournament (which had various tiebreak rules like starting extra innings with runners on base and such).
Ticket/Seating is as follows:
  • Homeplate Tickets (1500 yen), Infield Tickets (1300 yen), and Student Infield Tickets (800 yen) are sold.
  • Outfield tickets, cheering section tickets, and picnic tables are not sold or open for the Rookie games.
  • If you have special passes to normal Big 6 games, those work to get into the Rookie League games.
  • The normal league games begin immediately after the Rookie league games, so if you enter during the Rookie league game, you can just stay through to the normal league games.
I guess if you plan to sit in the outfield, you just don't come to the rookie games.  (Aside from Soukeisen, outfield seating for Big 6 games is free for women, children, and seniors, and 800 yen for everyone else.)

My only worry is about whether it'll be annoying to get good seating for the normal games without showing up at 8am, since that's awfully early.  I usually sit right behind the dugout for college games and take tons of photos, which requires showing up at least a little bit early, but not 3 hours before.  I guess we'll see.  It'll only affect one or two games for me this spring since I'll only be there for a few weekends anyway.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Fighters Spring Training in Arizona 2017 Part 3

Another day in paradise.  Err, Peoria.  Paradise is elsewhere in Arizona.

Also -- this entry is about camp on February 7th but I'm finishing it up a lot later.



I had to miss the morning's workouts due to having some work meetings that I have to be at (I've been trying to get work done in the evenings and such when I'm not on the field and not posting photos).  I got to the field as quickly as I could in the morning but the pitcher practice had JUST ended and everyone had already gone to lunch.  That was sad because I knew that meant I wasn't going to have a chance to take any more decent photos of Kagiya.

On the other hand, just as I arrived, Ohtani was brought out to do some kind of throwing, possibly so that the TV shows could get footage of him?  It didn't look like he was doing anything strenuous.

I got bored of that pretty quickly and wandered around a little.  I think they must have had fielders eat a very early lunch, because those guys were starting to filter out for "afternoon" practice already at that point.

Some of the pitchers did throw BP for the afternoon batting practice, but it was only one of the groups -- Katoh, Saitoh, Ishikawa, and Takanashi.  So at least I got to see some of them pitch a little, but it still wasn't the same.

I talked to a few team staffers about the situation with the line jumping and the racists and they said they'd see what they could do, although it wasn't likely to be much.

Also in talking to some of the front office guys I found out that Shota Tatsuta sprained his ankle during the second day of camp or so, working out in the bullpen -- he went to catch a ball and rolled his ankle in a hole.  Oops.  (Of course nobody was making a big deal out of this given that Ohtani was also injured, which is probably just as well.)

Matt Winters introduced me to one of his other scout friends, Andrew Lorraine.  That was pretty interesting -- I forget how it came up exactly but I mentioned I used to be a Mariners season ticket holder before I moved to Japan, he mentioned having pitched in Tacoma in 2005, and I was feeling like such a dork because I utterly don't remember him being there (despite that I totally remembered that being the season where I was joking about calling this blog "Hunter Brown for Third" to counterbalance the "Leone for Third" blog that eventually became Lookout Landing).  Andrew had a lot of entertaining stories to tell, since he's been all over the place.  Only later when I looked him up did I also realize he's a coach for Israel's WBC team -- how cool!

Dani never showed up through the day, though my friend Dave was there again.  A semi-silly thing happened in that I wanted to get a photo with Brandon Laird, and Dave is from Texas, and my brain had a blip -- I mean, I remember that Laird's brother played for the Rangers and Laird himself played for the Astros but in reality their whole family is from California.  Anyway, when it looked like Brandon was done with practice I went up and asked Mizuhara to make sure, and then asked Brandon if I could get a photo with him.  Sure, no problem.  Then I was like "And this is my friend, he came from Texas and wanted to meet you too!" And after that, my friend whose camera lenses I envy dearly, mikaotx, also wanted to get a photo with Laird so I was like "Oh, and this guy is from Texas too!".  A few minutes later I was like "...why did I just say you're all from Texas?  I'm from California, dammit!"

One of my new friends was a Japanese college student girl who's been living in San Diego for the last few years, so she showed up decked out in Padres gear.  She was originally from Atsugi and was with a guy who played high school baseball at Atsugi Kita HS, but naturally they were Kanagawa prefecture fans in general, and she had Yokohama HS gloves that she brought with her.  Her goal for the day was to meet Takahama, Kondoh, and Asama.  When she told me that I was like "Well ok, Takahama is RIGHT THERE..." as he seriously was walking by the field at the moment so she ran over and got him to sign her gloves.  But Kondoh was ignoring everyone as usual, and Asama was pretty much nowhere to be found.  (She wasn't the only person asking where the hell Asama was -- even Matt Winters asked me at one point "Have you seen Asama anywhere?" and I was like "Only for about 5 minutes the first day I was here...")  Every time I saw her she was like "HAVE YOU SEEN ASAMA?", to no avail.  On the other hand, her father had been in the baseball club at Joso Gakuin high school and she brought a JG cap that she got Makoto Kaneko (also from Joso) to sign and she was super happy about that.

I spent a while talking to the security guards at one point.  I learned a few things from them that were interesting, namely:

  • Normal spring training autograph hounding is a bazillion times worse.  The fact that people were waiting in line at all for Ohtani was somewhat short of a miracle, apparently.  They told me stories about children getting crushed at Autograph Alley and things like having to tell Mike Trout to stop signing in order to avoid any fans getting injured.
  • Normal spring training in general is much harder for them!  One of the guards said how "I love having you Japanese baseball fans here.  I tell you to do something, and you do it!  Like, 'Oh, you can't stand here,' and you guys go 'Sorry!  My bad' and go away, but during normal spring training if we don't have fences up we can't keep anyone out of forbidden areas."
  • With respect to me telling them about the racist stuff the hounds were saying in line, the older guard said how "It's only gotten worse since our current president got elected."  I had a bad impression of Peoria last year being a bit of a redneck racist area, and of my non-white friends there getting treated poorly, but I was surprised by the anti-Trump sentiment I heard from some of the locals this year.  Arizona only went 49% for Trump, so maybe there's hope for them yet.
  • Oh, and John the security guard (who apparently found my blog, hi!) was showing me Ebay listings for Ohtani baseballs -- and funnier, in some of the listings were photos of him as Ohtani's escort, since people would post "proof" photos of the player signing whatever.
That last point turned into something sad later that evening, though -- remember I mentioned a guy on Saturday getting a sideways off-the-number awkward Ohtani autograph, that I sort of wished I'd taken a photo of because it was so ridiculous-looking?  Well, turns out I didn't need to take a photo of it to see it again, as he is currently listing that uniform, stupid as it looks, on Ebay for $899 or best offer.  I showed that to some of my friends who were waiting in line that day and boy, were they pissed.  One was even like "That jerk!  I lent him my shikishi!  I'm never trusting any non-Japanese in camp ever again.  No, not you.  You don't count, you're pretty much Japanese."

Also, you know, I didn't think Yuya Taniguchi understood much English, but at one point he finished practice and called to one of the security guards I was talking to to drive him back to the clubhouse.  I saw him get into the cart and joked, "Don't let him drive!  He's crazy!" and Taniguchi looked at me with a scowl and said something (in Japanese) like "Wait, WHAT did you just say about my driving?" and I said "Umm... your driving yesterday was... interesting..."

Just like morning practice ended early, afternoon practice also ended early.  I originally intended to just come over for a little while at the end of morning practice and thought I'd go back to my hotel and eat lunch and get other stuff for camp, but instead I never left, so by the end of the day (by which I mean 2:30pm or so, super early) I still hadn't eaten lunch and also had absolutely nothing with me to get signed -- I didn't even have a pen or a marker in my bag at all.  That was totally fine with me though.  I'm still not much of an autograph person.

I was supposed to help my friend T find rookie Kazunari Ishii since I know his face pretty well after watching him play at Waseda for four years, but first I really needed to get lunch.  Dani showed up around then, so she and Dave and I piled into a car and went over to MacAllister's (I thought there was a Subway in the shopping center right by the PSC, and we even went there last year, but it seems to have closed since then) so I could get something quick, so I got a sandwich to bring back to camp.  I introduced Dani to the Yokohama HS girl and then I went up to where T was in line, and I spread out my Fighters fan club vinyl sheet a few feet away from the line and started eating my sandwich.

Ishii actually came out super-early and I took a picture of T with him.  So after that T was like "Ok, you don't need to hang out here anymore if you don't want to" after that, but I was like "Today's my last real day in camp, so I really want to talk to everyone even though I have nothing to get signed..."

Mostly, I was trying to find out who was pitching at the game in Mesa.  I wasn't sure when the list would be posted, so instead I just asked every pitcher that I got to talk to, "Are you pitching tomorrow?  I'm going home after the game in Mesa so...".  Yuki Saitoh said "Not tomorrow, the day after tomorrow."  Uwasawa said he wouldn't be either.  Arihara just pretty much entirely ignored me as usual.  Enoshita, who I asked in English, said "I'm a reserve for tomorrow's game, so probably not."  Toru Murata came out wearing an Oakland Raiders sweatshirt so I asked him about that before also asking if he was pitching (and he said "No, and I'm not sure when either.")

I waited for Kagiya forever, and he also said he wasn't going to be pitching.  I told him I was going home after the game and he was like "Oh, that's too bad," and I said "Yeah.  Well, see you in Japan again then!"  And then he ran off.  I barely got to see him this year at training, which is too bad.  Last year I talked to him almost every day, which was great.

Of course, I later discovered that the Mesa game lineup had been put in the hotel lobby around that time and that Uehara, Yoshida, Tanaka, Iguchi, and Hakumura would be pitching.  Oh well.

I unfortunately also missed getting a photo with and saying goodbye to Tatsuya Morimoto because of the Ohtani line.  I saw the autograph sellers jumping the line again, and this time the Japanese guard was my buddy Yohei (not Kagiya -- a translator for the team who I first met at the 2013 WBC when he was studying in California), so I went up like "I'm not getting anything signed, how about I go stand in back now and you'll know when the line ends?"  So I did that -- but a whole bunch of players came out in the time while Ohtani was signing and I didn't get to say hi to any of them, and Tatsuya was in that group.

It was a little bit awkward because when Ohtani got to me, expecting to sign something, I just said in Japanese, "Oh, I have nothing.  Thanks for coming out."  He looked at me funny for a second before Yohei told him that meant the signing line was over.

I also didn't get to talk to Good Guy Taishi Ohta again either for the same reason.  Alas.  Tatsuya is a little more special to me though because he was super-friendly to me at Kamagaya and I'm really hoping he has a breakout year this year.  He was the #2 pick in the 2012 draft, between Ohtani and Kagiya, but he's just a big goofy kid who hasn't really found his place on the team yet and has never made an appearance in an ichi-gun game, which is a little ominous after four years, really.  Anyway.

I went back to sitting with people by the sidewalk area.  Most of the Ohtani hounds left at that point, though a few of them stayed around for a while because they had WBC baseballs and wanted to get Shota Ohno's autograph since he's on the WBC team.  (I knew Ohno was unlikely to come out through the main line -- the day I caught him, he came out of the parking lot and a few of us recognized him and ran over).  They kept looking at me angrily and Dani told me how "Oh, those guys were saying how 'that fucking bitch is out there doing her thing again'."  Those guys were still there waiting when I left, even.  I'm sorry, guys, but you took a lot of the fun out of the few days I got to spend with my team, so I can't feel too bad denying you a second or third (or in the case of that guy who brings his wife and kids, fifth) autograph on any given day that you're just going to go try to sell for $300.

I got a photo with Yushi Shimizu.  I probably should have asked more players, but honestly I was kind of exhausted by then anyway.  Plus, looking at the list of who was in Arizona camp, I do have a photo with every player at some point, except for Ohtani.  Most are in Kamagaya and such, but whatever.  I don't have a few of the coaches like Kawana, Atsuzawa, and sadly Johnny Kuroki, but dude, I got to meet Ryohei Endoh, so that was pretty awesome.

Speaking of photos, as usual, since you read this far, here are a whole bunch:


Like I said, he was out there just playing catch, presumably for the media.


Kengo Ohta laughing at something one of the coaches was saying.


So many bats!


Tatsuya Morimoto talking to one of the batting pitchers.




Takayuki Katoh throwing batting practice.


Pitching coach Masato Yoshii


All-around cool kid Ryo Ishikawa


Yuki Saitoh also was pitching batting practice


Yuto Takahama doing bunting practice


There was also a toss batting area in the back.  Here's Go Matsumoto taking swings.


The most special coach of all, Makoto Kaneko


Brandon Laird


Pitching coach Kazuyuki Atsuzawa


Recently retired and now batting pitcher Yutaka Ohtsuka


Former fan favorite for the Fighters and Swallows, Takehiko Oshimoto (also BP pitcher)


Shinji Takahashi and Hichori Morimoto chatting -- 10 years ago these guys wore #2 and #1 for the Fighters


I actually caught Hiromi Oka smiling, is that allowed?


Ryosuke Kishisato getting ready for BP


Kazunari Ishii, Kengo Ohta, and Yuto Takahama leaving fielding practice


Yushi Shimizu looking particularly ominous (he is a big kid for a catcher)


Makoto Kaneko throwing batting practice


Kazunori Yamamoto throwing batting practice


UNLEASH THE HARUKI


Manager Hideki Kuriyama just hanging out and looking cool.

And two-shots.  These are all taken with my phone because my little camera broke so they do kind of suck, but whatever.  I'll probably get a new IXY or whatever the equivalent is now next time I'm in Japan.


Brandon Laird!  Not from Texas!


Kenshi Sugiya finally wasn't too busy to hang out for a second!


Makoto Kaneko is still so cool


I said to Yamamoto, "Can we get a photo together for nostalgia's sake?  My friends at Kamagaya will get a kick out of it."


Yushi Shimizu really is a big kid!  Always so quiet and serious but I think he's going to be a fantastic player in the future.