I was in Japan 2 weeks ago, so I did manage to buy a few of the draft magazines, so that should help with player backgrounds, although since they publish them before the deadline for guys submitting their draft-hopeful 志望届 intent letters, about half of the guys in the magazines aren't actually going into the draft. Shrug. I'll hopefully catch a stream online of the TV part, but otherwise I'll just be watching the picks come in on various news sources such as Nikkan Sports, Sponichi, Sanspo, etc as usual.
Not sure who I'm really emotionally invested in this year aside from the Sanko boys (please for the love of god do not let Takayama go to the Giants), maybe Ohshiro-kun (Koji that is, I've given up on Motoshi ever getting drafted now, sadly), and a bunch of the industrial league guys. Well, and like everyone I wonder what'll happen to Rui Okoe, and another lesser-known half kid in the list named Julius Higuma. (BTW, for the three of you who might wonder what ever happened to Teikyo's Naville Ariga, he apparently works at a Maruhan store in Sendai...)
Predraft update 8pm: Shun Takayama broke his wrist on Sunday, apparently, though it was only discovered and in the news today. Specifically, he broke the hamate bone in his wrist; after reading about it on Wikipedia it doesn't sound that bad, apparently this just happens to golfers/baseball players and is often a hairline fracture that doesn't show up (infact they say he had an X-Ray after the game and it showed up normal but then an MRI later in the week showed the fracture). However, Yakult at least has said they will still choose him in the first round. That suits me just fine :)
Takayama is easily one of the best college batter/fielders in the draft this year, he broke the career hits record in Tokyo Big 6 by accumulating 131 hits over 4 years -- this is no small feat, the record was set at 127 hits by Shigeru Takada back in 1967 and stood for 48 years until now. He was a member of the Nichidai Sanko team that won Koshien in 2011 and that I was a crazy enough fan of to dedicate an entire tag on here just to their team. Even after his freshman year at Meiji I was already predicting him as the most likely guy from their team to go pro, so go figure. I don't think this wrist injury will affect his career much.
Name Pos HS/Univ/Company T/B DOB Ht/Wt -------------------- --- --------------- --- ---------- ------- Eagles
x Taiga Hirasawa1 Rui Okoe OF Kanto Daiichi HS R/R 07/21/1997 183/85 2 Ryota Yoshimochi IF Osaka Shogyo Univ R/R 11/04/1993 174/64 3 Eigoro Mogi IF Waseda Univ R/L 02/14/1994 171/75 4 Kengo Horiuchi C Shizuoka HS R/L 04/15/1997 176/80 5 Ryota Ishibashi P Honda R/L 06/06/1991 175/77 6 Yuichi Adachi C Panasonic R/R 09/22/1989 178/83 7 Itsuki Murabayashi P Otsuka HS R/R 10/06/1997 180/70 i1 Takumi Deguchi IF Tsuda Gakuen HS R/R 03/03/1998 175/91 i2 Hiroki Yamada IF Komono HS R/L 10/04/1997 176/81 Buffaloes 1 Masataka Yoshida OF Aoyama Gakuin Univ R/L 07/15/1993 172/80 2 Taisuke Kondoh P Panasonic R/R 05/29/1991 178/74 3 Koji Ohshiro IF Rikkio Univ R/R 06/14/1993 175/71 4 Daiki Aoyama P Toyota R/L 11/28/1994 183/84 5 Ryo Yoshida P Tokaidai Sagami HS R/R 06/20/1997 181/72 6 Sena Satoh P Sendai Ikuei HS R/R 06/02/1997 180/84 7 Kohei Suzuki IF Mitsubishi Juko Nagoya R/R 06/20/1991 175/78 8 Ryuta Kadoya P J-Project R/R 10/18/1990 175/71 9 Ken Akama P Saginomiya Seisakusho R/R 11/14/1990 180/80 10 Yutaro Sugimoto OF JR Nishinihon R/R 04/05/1991 190/92 i1 Takayuki Tsukada P Hakuoh Univ L/L 09/26/1993 184/82 i2 Kosuke Akamatsu C Kagawa Olive Guyners R/R 06/05/1992 188/113 Lions 1 Shinsaburo Tawata P Fuji Univ R/R 04/13/1993 181/74 2 Seiji Kawagoe P Hokkai Gakuen Univ L/L 06/30/1993 176/77 3 Shogo Noda P Seino Unyu L/L 06/27/1993 167/70 4 Aito Ohtaki OF Hanasaki Tokuharu HS R/R 04/06/1997 178/82 5 Tadasuke Minamikawa P JR Shikoku R/R 01/13/1992 180/66 6 Keisuke Honda P Tohoku Gakuin Univ R/R 04/24/1993 179/76 7 Wu Nienting IF Daichi Kogyo Univ R/L 06/07/1993 178/75 8 Tsubasa Kokuba P Daichi Kogyo Univ R/R 12/05/1993 181/81 9 Koki Fujita P Hirosaki Kogyo HS L/L 12/11/1997 175/66 10 Naoaki Matsumoto P Kagawa Olive Guyners R/R 11/14/1990 178/78 Marines 1 Taiga Hirasawa IF Sendai Ikuei HS R/L 12/24/1997 176/76 2 Ryota Sekiya P JR Higashinihon R/R 05/10/1991 180/82 3 Kakeru Narita P Akita Shogyo HS L/L 02/03/1998 169/68 4 Taiki Tohjoh P JR Higashinihon R/R 08/15/1991 176/80 5 Shu Hara P Senshudai Matsudo HS R/R 12/06/1997 185/84 6 Akifumi Shigaraki P Miyazaki Umeda Gakuen R/R 12/26/1991 180/83 7 Keisuke Takano P JR Nishinihon R/R 12/28/1991 178/78 i1 Takamasa Ohki IF Kagawa Olive Guyners R/L 11/22/1991 174/73 i2 Tomoya Kakinuma C Nihon Kokusai Univ R/R 05/12/1993 180/82 Fighters x Junpei Takahashi x Shinnosuke Ogasawara1 Kenta Uehara P Meiji Univ L/L 03/29/1994 190/85 2 Takayuki Katoh P Kazusa Magic L/L 06/03/1992 182/82 3 Kazutomo Iguchi P Nodai Okhotsk Univ R/R 01/07/1994 177/80 4 Shota Hiranuma P Tsuruga Kehi HS R/L 08/16/1997 178/75 5 Toyoki Tanaka P Nihon Bunri Univ R/R 12/01/1993 180/88 6 Toshitake Yokoo IF Keio Univ R/R 05/27/1993 175/86 7 Yuki Yoshida P Tokai Univ R/R 02/16/1994 187/79 8 Yuya Himeno P Osaka Kaisei HS R/R 04/02/1997 184/79 Hawks 1 Junpei Takahashi P Ken Gifu Shogyo HS R/R 05/08/1997 183/76 2 Reiji Kozawa P Nichidai Mishima HS R/L 03/09/1998 180/74 3 Kenta Tanigawara C Toyohashi Chuo HS R/L 04/16/1997 173/79 4 Kenta Chatani P Teikyo #3 HS R/R 01/16/1998 185/85 5 Kenta Kurose C Hatsushiba Hashimoto HS R/R 08/12/1997 180/94 6 Hikaru Kawase OF Oita Shogyo HS R/L 09/15/1997 175/63 i1 Yuuto Nozawa P Tsukuba Shuei HS R/L 11/06/1997 i2 Ryuya Kodama P Kanagawa Univ L/L 10/09/1993 i3 Yuichi Higoshi C Nodai Okhotsk Univ R/L 09/28/1993 i4 Shin Nakamura P Luther Gakuin HS R/R 08/08/1997 i5 Takeshi Watanabe P Iizuka HS L/L 09/09/1997 Baystars 1 Shota Imanaga P Komazawa Univ L/L 09/01/1993 178/80 2 Kento Kumahara P Sendai Univ R/L 10/19/1993 178/76 3 Tatsuhiro Shibata IF Kokugakuin Univ R/L 12/16/1993 167/68 4 Yasutaka Tobashira C NTT Nishinihon R/L 04/11/1990 178/83 5 Kakeru Ayabe P Kasumigaura HS R/R 04/25/1997 189/86 6 Koki Aoyagi OF Osaka Toin HS R/R 05/19/1997 183/83 7 Takuto Nogawa P Saginomiya Seisakusho L/L 09/06/1991 172/75 i1 Keisho Amiya C Chiba Eiwa HS R/R 10/03/1997 183/82 i2 Musashi Yamamoto IF Kyushu Kokusaidai HS R/R 02/17/1998 188/90 i3 Jo Tamura P Kansai Gakuin Univ R/R 11/20/1992 185/86 Dragons x 1 Junpei Takahashi1 Shinnosuke Ogasawara P Tokaidai Sagami HS L/L 10/08/1997 180/83 2 Yu Satoh P Tohoku Fukushi Univ R/L 06/29/1993 187/85 3 Takuya Kinoshita C Toyota R/R 12/18/1991 183/92 4 Hiroto Fuku P JR Kyushu L/L 06/16/1992 178/85 5 Toshiki Abe IF Honda R/R 12/03/1989 185/80 6 Ryota Ishioka IF JR Higashinihon L/L 05/25/1992 187/90 i1 Seiya Nakagawa P Aichi Univ L/L 12/03/1993 178/81 i2 Shu Yoshida P Tokushima Indigo Socks R/R 07/08/1996 185/83 i3 Takuya Mitsuma P Musashi Heat Bears R/R 07/22/1992 183/92 i4 Mikihiro Nishihama P Seijo Univ R/R 08/04/1993 174/78 i5 Kaito Goya P Hachinohe Kosei HS L/L 09/30/1997 180/75 i6 Masaru Watanabe OF Tokai Univ R/L 10/14/1993 172/80 Carp 1 Akitake Okada P Osaka Shogyo Univ R/L 10/18/1993 184/80 2 Hiroki Yokoyama P NTT Higashinihon R/L 03/12/1992 187/85 3 Mikiya Takahashi P Hanamaki Higashi HS L/L 06/21/1997 176/74 4 Ryota Funakoshi C Oji R/R 11/26/1993 177/79 5 Ryoma Nishikawa IF Oji R/L 12/10/1994 176/67 6 Oscar Nakaoshi P Honda L/L 03/28/1991 178/78 7 Riku Aoki IF Yamagata Chuo HS R/R 11/11/1997 180/84 Tigers 1 Shun Takayama OF Meiji Univ R/L 04/18/1993 181/84 2 Seishiro Sakamoto C Meiji Univ R/R 11/10/1993 175/77 3 Taichi Takeyasu P Kumamoto Golden Larks R/S 09/27/1994 183/70 4 Atsushi Mochizuki P Yokohama Sogakukan HS R/R 08/02/1997 187/82 5 Kohyo Aoyagi P Teikyo Univ R/R 12/11/1993 181/79 6 Yutaro Itayama OF Asia Univ R/L 03/27/1994 180/76 Giants 1 Toshiki Sakurai P Ritsumeikan Univ R/R 10/21/1993 181/73 2 Shinnosuke Shigenobu OF Waseda Univ R/L 04/17/1993 173/67 3 Hirotaka Yonahara P Futenma HS R/R 03/09/1998 190/88 4 Shingo Usami C Josai Kokusai Univ R/L 06/04/1993 181/86 5 Yasuhiro Yamamoto IF Keio Univ R/R 10/10/1993 175/75 6 Daisuke Tatsumi P Iwakura HS L/L 04/26/1997 183/79 7 Kota Nakagawa P Tokai Univ L/L 02/24/1994 182/81 8 Takuya Matsuzaki IF Nihon Seishi Ishinomaki R/R 01/20/1992 175/90 i1 Daiki Masuda IF Tokushima Indigo Socks R/R 07/29/1993 172/65 i2 Daisei Kobayashi C Musashi Heat Bears R/L 01/15/1994 180/82 i3 Yusuke Matsuzawa OF Kagawa Olive Guyners L/L 07/01/1992 181/83 i4 Kosei Tajima IF Musashi Heat Bears R/L 07/13/1996 175/78 i5 Hideyoshi Ohtake P Musashi Heat Bears R/R 07/26/1988 180/87 i6 Atsuro Yamashita P Chinzei HS L/L 02/24/1998 178/82 i7 Yohei Yajima P Musashi Heat Bears R/R 06/16/1990 179/82 i8 Jun Hasegawa P Ishikawa Million Stars R/R 06/15/1991 186/74 Swallows x 1 Shun Takayama1 Juri Hara P Toyo Univ R/R 07/19/1993 178/70 2 Taishi Hirooka IF Chiben Gakuen HS R/R 04/09/1997 181/76 3 Keiji Takahashi P Ryukyudai Heian HS L/L 05/14/1997 178/71 4 Julius Higuma P Kochi Chuo HS L/L 11/21/1997 184/74 5 Kotaro Yamasaki OF Nihon Univ L/L 08/11/1993 173/67 6 Taiki Watanabe IF Senshudai Matsudo HS R/R 06/07/1997 181/79
1am: and the feed is live! (Thanks Dani for the link!)
1:02am: watching all the old dudes in their suits filing in (whoa Nashida! Ramichan! Tanishige!)
1:05am: big cheer for new manager Kanemoto (Tigers) coming in, probably biggest yet.
1:06am: another huge cheer for Kimiyasu Kudoh (Hawks)
1:08am: Long explanation of the rules. If you don't know: first round is crazy free-for-all with ties broken by a lottery, then they go in waiver order and reverse waiver order for the next rounds (hence the actual order I have below). They're giving counts for all the student players eligible in the draft (it's about 160; there were 78 high school and 81 university letters submitted).
And a speech from the commissioner and a commercial break and THEN we will get the first round underway!
1:15am: The Eagles name Hirasawa and we're off!
Rakuten Eagles: Taiga Hirasawa, IF, Sendai Ikuei HS
Yokohama DeNA Baystars: Shota Imanaga, LHP, Komazawa Univ
Orix Buffaloes: Masataka Yoshida, OF, Aoyama Gakuin Univ
Chunichi Dragons: Junpei Takahashi, RHP, Ken Gifu Sho HS
Seibu Lions: Shinsaburo Tawata, RHP, Fuji Univ
Hiroshima Carp: Akitake Okada, RHP, Osaka Shogyo Univ
Chiba Lotte Marines: Taiga Hirasawa
Hanshin Tigers: Shun Takayama, OF, Meiji Univ
Nippon Ham Fighters: Junpei Takahashi
Yomiuri Giants: Toshiki Sakurai, P, Ritsumeikan Univ
Softbank Hawks: Junpei Takahashi
Yakult Swallows: Shun Takayama
Okay, looks like it'll be three lotteries: Eagles/Marines for Hirasawa, Tigers/Swallows for Takayama, Dragons/Fighters/Hawks for Takahashi...
Hirasawa goes to... Lotte
Takahashi goes to... Hawks (wow Kudoh looks overjoyed)
Takayama goes to... YAKULT!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yay I can keep seeing him hit things at Jingu :)
Okay, going to work on the results grid now while they work out the next part of the first round.
BTW, can I mention that I'm super happy the Giants took someone I completely don't care about?
So the Eagles, Dragons, Tigers, and Fighters need to name new players since they lost lotteries...
1:32 WAIT what the hell is going on? Kanemoto wants to confirm that Hanshin actually won the Takayama lottery?!?!?!? oh no WAY. Hanshin you already have Hayata Itoh you don't need another one WTF.
I guess that means the SWALLOWS now need to name a new player and I need to be grumpy.
I feel like Kanemoto is getting an early start on learning how to challenge things as a manager. Jason points out that he's already winning at it :P
NEXT DAY EDIT for clarification: It seems, according to Kozo and to Sanspo, that what actually went down was this:
- Kanemoto and Manaka took their ballots
- Manaka opened his and having never seen one before, and seeing a stamp on it at all instead of a blank page, did a "guts pose" because he thought he had won
- In reality, Kanemoto's slip had the "交渉権獲得" on it, but he didn't even look at it after seeing Manaka go crazy
- When the NPB staffer came by to their tables to take their ballot slips back and confirm, they informed Kanemoto that HE infact had the slip saying he won the lottery
- Then Kanemoto got up and did an interview about how happy he was to get Takayama while the rest of us were like "WTF"
Poor Manaka. I guess he has some more important things on his mind like beating down the Hawks in the Japan Series tomorrow.
Eagles: Rui Okoe, OF, Kanto Daiichi HS
Dragons: Shinnosuke Ogasawara, LHP, Tokaidai Sagami HS
Fighters: Shinnosuke Ogasawara
Swallows: Juri Hara, RHP, Toyo University
And of course the DRAGONS get Ogasawara which means I don't get to reuse my old Fighters Ogasawara jersey as I was vaguely hoping for a few seconds there.
1:50am: Well, now the Fighters get to choose a first-round pick and then we go in waiver order. Bleh.
First Round, Take 3:
Fighters: Kenta Uehara, P, Meiji University
I had a feeling that would happen. Why couldn't we have gotten Sachiya that way instead if we wanted a big lefty from Meiji? Unlucky year.
Okay, they're taking a break for a bit and the TV will probably cut out.
First round thoughts:
No guys were taken from the industrial leagues (or indie but that would be really weird).
It was awfully university-heavy: 8 out of 12.
While typing in info I just realized that Kenta Uehara is an even more statistical anomaly in some ways because he's so huge but he's also the youngest you can possibly be in your class (Japan starts school in April, so everyone in a year is the same age, the oldest in the class were born in April and the youngest born in March -- you often end up with a lot more athletes being born in April-May-June just because they tended to always be the biggest kids in their class).
2:10am and the draft is continuing with Rakuten taking Ryota Yoshimochi and Yokohama taking Kento Kumabara in the 2nd round (after a long interview with Rami explaining exactly why he's happy to get Imanaga). And first shakaijin guy is Taisuke Kondoh from Panasonic, going to Orix.
BTW, for the most part from now on I'm just going to go look up guys and fill in the table except for commentary when guys I care about get drafted.
I had joked that Yokohama had to take Funamoto or Azegami in the second round to continue their streak of taking my Hosei boys and running them into the ground but we'll have to see what actually happens there :)
2:18 nevermind here is the part where I go off about Ryota Sekiya going to Lotte and Seishiro Sakamoto going to Hanshin, I guess. Sekiya was a year ahead of Sachiya at Nichidai Sanko AND at Meiji and he's also a good pitcher. And then Seishiro Sakamoto -- Meiji captain this year, great guy, great catcher. He's from Kansai -- infact he was a year or two behind Tetsuto Yamada at Riseisha HS -- so I guess it's ok for him to go to Hanshin -- but I'm really worried he'll get stuck behind Umeno :(
2:19 OMG THE FIGHTERS TAKE TAKAYUKI KATOH IN THE SECOND ROUND!!!
Super excited about this one. He's a big tall pile of arms and legs but I've seen him pitch and he's good. Watched him throw a shutout against ENEOS last year -- I was there to cheer ENEOS but came out of it impressed by Katoh and even got a photo with him -- infact I've been slacking off on posting names because I went to dig up that photo :) (see photo tweet here)
2:33 excited that Takuya Kinoshita finally got drafted -- I remember him filling out a form for it back in 2013 but he didn't get picked then
2:37 Koji Ohshiro! To Orix! Now I guess that means my friend K is going to go watch a LOT of Orix games to see Sachiya AND Koji :)
2:50 in passing I wanted to note that Yakult took Julius Higuma that I'd mentioned earlier (yay!) and Kotaro Yamasaki from Nichidai (yay!)
3:27 I was just slogging away translating names into the table when suddenly i heard the FIGHTERS TAKE TOSHITAKE YOKOO FROM KEIO/SANKO/WHATEVER OMG! One of my Sanko boys is going to be a Fighter! holy CRAP!
5:43am: Hi! I've translated the main rounds but haven't gotten to the ikusei draft yet. It's basically summarized by saying "The Giants drafted a bunch of BCL guys and a few other semi-interesting names popped up". I'll do it sometime tomorrow.
Man, this was a pretty insane draft after all. Still feeling pretty awful about Takayama and on the Fighters missing both their lotteries but whatever. I think it'll all work out in the end. Now my goal for Arizona next year is clearly to get a photo between Arihara and Uehara since they're both so huge.
Next day 5:50pm: I'm done entering all the ikusei!
BTW, I still stand by my assertion that there are always going to be more athletes born near the start of the school year, and this draft class doesn't contradict that at all:
Time of Year Players Born ------------ ------------ April - Jun 38 (33%) Jul - Sep 25 (22%) Oct - Dec 35 (30%) Jan - Mar 18 (16%)