Discussion in 'Team News' started by Roggie, May 28, 2013.
SS Amadeo Zazueta (3*) to 1 year, 150,000 deal.
SP Ricardo Betancourt (2.5*) to minor league contract. (Promoted to $50,000 ML contract)
RP Kunihiko Mori (2*) to minor league contract. (Promoted to $50,000 ML contract)
SP Shane Hill (3*, 4* potential) to minor league contract. (Promoted to $50,000 ML contract)
SS John Smith (4*) to minor league contract. (Promoted to $50,000 ML contract)
LF John Lawson (1*, 4.5* potential) to minor league contract.
SS Curt Again (4*) to 4 year, @2,200,000 deal.
SP Adrian Salcedo (3*) to MLC with $271 signing bonus. (Promoted to $50,000 ML contract)
SP Tomoyuki Oshima (3* potential, International) to a minor league contract with a $110,500 signing bonus.
CF Mitsuoki Kurota (4.5*) to 4 year, $2,200,000 extension.
SP Motoyuki Saito (3.5*) to 2 year, $1,531,600 extension.
LF Yoriie Ono (1*) to 2 year, $260,000 extension.
3B Roger Barbier (4*) to 3 year, $1,395,000 extension.
SP Kawahari Inoue (3.5*) to 3 year, $330,000 extension.
C Taisho Yoshida (2*) to 2 year, $225,000 extension.
2B Iemitsu Miyata (3*) to 3 year, $1,065,000 extension.
RF Okura Kimura (3*) to 2 year, $510,000 extension.
MR Kiyohira Nakamura (4*) to 2 year, $570,000 extension.
MR Toyokazu Yoshida (2*) to 2 year, $210,000 extension.
MR Yoriyuki Chikafuji (3*) to 3 year, $510,000 extension.
Star third baseman Roger Barbier has been diagnosed with a sprained elbow and will miss approximately a month. The BayStars will place the speedy Sumietru Hirose in at third base during his absence. First baseman Sadakuno Yamasaki will slide into the third spot in the order while Barbier rests and rehabs his elbow.
Also, Venezuelan import Ricardo Betancourt has been promoted to the majors after 2 minor league tuneup starts. He will replace Takayuki Harada in the rotation. Harada has been sent down to AAA to work out the issues he has been having, which have led him to have a 5.93 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP to go along with an 0-2 record.
Relief pitcher Kunihiko Mori has also been promoted after being signed two weeks prior. Mori most recently pitched in the Detroit Tigers system, throwing 31 innings for their AAA affiliate, the Toledo Mud Hens. Mori threw 6 innings for the BayStars' minor league affiliate to make up for his lack of a spring training, allowing 5 hits and 2 walks against 3 strikeouts. He has replaced Goro Murakami, who has been wild this year, walking almost a batter an inning and having a WHIP of 1.95.
What's with tall this $ talk... You pay these bitches in Yen son!
Psh, this is 2021. Everyone is using dollars now.
We'll be using yuan by then... All the narrow minded right wingers and pot smoking lefties will kill the manufacturing base and we will be fully owned...
The Yokohama Baystars have given up on the Amadeo Zazueta experiment, and have relegated him to the AAA squad after he came off the DL. Zazueta, who was expected to shine in the 2nd or 6th spot in the lineup, has been nothing short of a bust this year, hitting .201 with only 14 doubles in 69 games. Jeff Smith, a 24 year old American fresh off a monster campaign in the Frontier League, was signed as a replacement. Zazueta will play as a backup in AAA and will only see the majors again in the event of an injury to Smith. The team is not expected to offer him arbitration in the offseason.
Round 1 (11): SP Shoichi Hirano. Possibly the best starting pitching prospect in the draft. Projects to have solid stuff with plus movement and plus plus control. Can throw a total of 6 pitches, with an average slider and changeup, an above average fastball, forkball, and circle change, and a plus curveball. Also has the stamina to pitch deep into games.
Round 2 (25): 1B Shigekazu Ikeda. The top first base prospect in the draft, but only due to infield as a whole being very weak in this class. Projects to have plus plus power to go with average contact and above average gap power. Will strike out a lot. Decent defender at first. Completely stone footed.
Round 3 (39): SP Toshiyuki Kamihara. Projects to be a #4/5 starting pitcher. Projects to have average stuff, movement, and control. Fastball looks to be average, slider a little above average, and a plus changeup.
Round 4 (53): C Akihisa Sasaki. Looks to be an average defensive catcher who is average all around with the bat. Nothing special to him, but no real weakness either.
Round 5 (67): SP Yunosuke Kurota. The third college pitcher taken in the draft, Kurota has a chance to be a back of the rotation starter or long reliever. Kurota has mediocre movement and control, but above average stuff. Kurota projects to have a very good curveball, an above average forkball, an average fastball, and a junk changeup that should only be used to keep hitters off balance.
Round 6 (81): SS/3B Hidehira Akiyama. Akiyama was a shortstop in college, but will be moved to 3rd due to his height (6'3). Akiyama looks to have okay contact, high end gap power, very little power and plate discipline, and okay at avoiding strikeouts. Akiyama has work to do at 3rd base and has good speed, but does not have much skill running the bases.
Round 7 (95): LF Toshikuni Eida. Eida projects to be between mediocre to average in every category with his bat. Eida has above average speed and is a very good defensive outfielder.
Round 8 (109): SS Hirotsugu Sato. Sato is very similar to Akiyama. Projects to have a little less contact and gap power ability, but is much more disciplined at the plate. Sato is 6' and will stay at shortstop, the only position he has experience playing.
Round 9 (123): P Yasukazu Kato. Kato projects to be mediocre at everything. Not good enough to be a starter, but could be a depth piece in the bullpen if he exceeds expectations. Not expected to be any significant piece.
Round 10 (137): P Naohiro Shiroi. Shiroi has very similar projections to Kato, but with a little less movement. Not expected to make the majors at any point, but he has enough ability to warrant a pick and hope he exceeds our projections.
Yokohama BayStars first season report:
It was a tale of two seasons for the BayStars in their first season under the American import Rogoff. The first half of the year was an absolute train wreck, with the rotation being in shambles and everybody except Mitsuoki Kurota, Sadakuno Yamasaki, and Iemitsu Miyata underperforming. Nobody was worse than Amadeo Zazueta, who struggled to find the Mendoza line all year long. After an injury to Zazueta 70 games in, however, the team turned the corner. The signings of imports Ricardo Betancourt, Shane Hill, and Jeff Smith (and subsequent demotion of Zazueta) were all major parts of the turnaround. Betancourt and Hill pitched well enough to finish top 5 in WHIP and ERA in the Central division, along with 8th and 5th in wins, respectively. Kawanari Inuoe also developed into a shutdown pitcher as the season progressed, turning a 3-8 record into a 10-10 record at the end of the season and having the 8th best ERA to go with the 5th best batting average against in the division.
Not to be outdone, the bullpen finished the season with the lowest ERA in the division. Pitchers like Kunimatsu Kichida and Kunihiko Mori outpitched their projections, which does cast some doubt on next season, but the insane turnaround in the second half of the season does bode well for the team. With a record of 45-53 at the All-Star Break (and a record of 40-50 at one point), the team played the best ball in the league after the break, going 43-21. In 34 less games, the team only won 2 less than the first half.
With the team returning every played who started over half the season, expectations are high in Yokohama. There are a few holes to fill, but no major changes or additions are expected in the offseason. The team will look for a back end starter to fill out the rotation (or could grab one of the guys out of AAA who filled in for an injured starter last season) and a couple back ups, but the core of the team is ready to return.
BayStars send 5 to All-Star Game
The Yokohama BayStars will be represented at the NPB All-Star Game by five players. Shortstop Curt Again (.268 AVG, 22 2Bs, .332 OBP) an offseason import signing, will start at short while center fielder Mitsuoki Kurota (.276 AVG, 19 HR, 65 RBI, 28 SB), the league leader in stolen bases (tied with teammate Sumietru Hirose), was voted in as a reserve. Three pitchers will be on the team as well. Shane Hill (12-5, 2.52 ERA, 1.04 WHIP) will get the ball as the starter and will be joined by his rotation mate Kawanari Inuoe (8-6, 2.54 ERA, 1.12 WHIP). In the bullpen will be closer Yoshiaga "Blade" Shimada (20 saves, 1.24 ERA, 1.21 WHIP).
BayStars 2022 Draft Report:
Round 1 (12): SP Yoriyoshi Yoshioka. Yoshioka projects to be a front of the rotation starter. OSA grades him out to a 5 star pitcher. With projected above average stuff with plus movement and control, to go along with an above average cutter and plus changeup and curveball, Yoshioka has all the makings of a future ace. The BayStars management team was shocked he fell to them at 12. The team has a surplus of pitching prospects already, but they follow the belief that you can never have too many high end pitchers.
Round 2 (25): SS Hideyori Kamimura. Our scouting team had Kamimura graded out as a first round pick. Has great natural ability in the infield, although his positional skills could use some refinement. Kamimura will never be a power hitter, but he grades out to be a very good contact hitter and will be able to hit the ball into the gap. He doesn't have a great eye, but he rarely strikes out. Has enough speed and baserunning skills to project as a prototypical leadoff hitter. (Update: Went unsigned)
Round 3 (39): SP Sadao Abe. Another pitcher who somehow fell to us, as we expected him to be gone before our second round pick. Abe doesn't have great stamina, but should be able to manage 6 or 7 innings an outing. Abe has plus movement on his pitches, although his stuff is only mediocre. He projects to have good control, and projects to have an average sinker, slider, and changeup with an above average splitter. If he can work on his control, he could contribute this year as an emergency call up for the bullpen. (Update: Went unsigned)
Round 4 (53): OF Koto Heida. Heida is not a good contact hitter, but he has a solid ability to drive the ball in the gap and very good pop in his bat. He also has a very good eye and will draw some walks. He's mediocre defensively right now, but he has plus speed and baserunning ability.
Round 5 (67): RP Juro Rin. Rin grades out as a player who has plus stuff and movement coming out of the pen with very good control. He should develop a good fastball and a plus curveball, but his changeup is junk and shouldn't be used more than once or twice a game just to fool batters. He has low stamina as well, and although he entered the draft as a starter, will be in the pen for his career.
Round 6 (81): SP Noboru Ito. Ito projects to either be a relief pitcher or a 5th starter. Has average stuff and good control, but not much movement. He can throw 5 pitches, but none are projected to be better than average. If he could find a way to get more movement on his pitches, he will be a pleasant surprise.
Round 7 (95): SP Ken'Ichi "Chopsticks" Nakada. Chopsticks could make it as a bullpen option in the future. He has average stuff, movement, and control, with an above average fastball and forkball. His changeup is about as good as a 13 year old throwing one for the first time, however. Chopsticks also wins the award for having the best nickname in the draft.
Round 8 (109): C Juichi Kurogawa. Kurogawa is mediocre at everything offensively. He's also mediocre behind the plate. Projects as a platoon/backup catcher. But Kurogawa has outstanding speed, a rarity for a guy behind the plate.
Round 9 (113): 1B Jun'Ichiro Yamaguchi. Jun'Ichiro is not somebody who knows how to make contact well. But when he makes contact, that ball is going places, and going places fast. He's a poor man's Dan Uggla.
Round 10 (127): SS Masami Okada. Okada is a guy who is mediocre all around offensively, but is very solid with the glove. He also has good speed and baserunning ability, and may be able to eventually fill in a backup infield role as a defensive specialist.
The Yokohama BayStars took it up a notch this season, improving on their second place finish in the Japan Central League last year. Finishing the regular season at 98-64, the BayStars ended tied with the Chunichi Dragons for the division lead. The one game playoff matched up Adrian Salcedo, a midseason signing for the BayStars, against Drew Granier, the Dragons 20 game winner. The game was the epitome of a pitchers' duel, with Salcedo throwing 7 scoreless while Granier gave up 1 run in a complete game. Yokohama won 1-0, with Keisuke Kouki driving in the only run in the 7th inning.
Yokohama represented the JCL in the Nippon World Series, but could not overcome the late season injuries to closer Yoshiaga Shimata and star outfielder Mitsouki Kurota. The Orix Buffaloes won the series 4-1.
The surprise of the season has to be rookie Shoichi Hirano, the BayStars' first round pick the previous season. After only making 5 minor league starts, Hirano was promoted to the big club, much to the disapproval of other managers. Hirano proved his skipper right, though, by going 12-7 with a 3.06 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP, which led to a huge confidence boost and great progression.
Shimada's injury late in the season opened the door for Kiyohira Nakamura to take over the closer's role with the team. Nakamura ended up accumulating 25 saves in two months and a lock on the closer's job for next season. Management has deemed that Shimada's regression has made him expendable and will not offer an extension for the amount that Shimada is asking for.
The main surprises out in the field were Roger Barbier's 35 home runs on the season and the amount of team speed shown on the basepaths, with Kurota leading the league with 43 stolen bases and Sumietru Hirose finishing the year with 39 despite only playing in 117 games due to injury.
Management and ownership have high hopes for next season, with every key piece except for Shimada returning and having more free agent money available than ever before. Expect management to attempt to fill in the couple of glaring holes (setup man and corner outfield) through free agency before taking the trade route. The team also has a few pieces (mostly bullpen arms) who are or are close to being major league ready in the system.
Stars Swap Jerseys In Big Offseason Trade
The Yokohama BayStars and Hiroshima Carp have made a giant move to kick off the offseason, seeing a star pitcher and star outfielder being swapped. The BayStars traded away Shane Hill, who has been their top starter the past 2 seasons, for outfielder Koryusai Yamasaki. Yamasaki, the 2021 JCL MVP, will fill the giant void in right field and gives the team a heart of the order bat to protect Mitsuoki Kurota. Yamasaki instantly becomes the best pure hitter on the team, although he doesn't have the speed of Kurota.
Also involved in the deal was John Lawson, a high end outfield prospect for the BayStars who was blocked by Curt Again and Roger Barbier, both infielders who take up the 2 foreign player slots, and $500,000 coming from the Carp to the BayStars to help pay Yamasaki's contract and to make the dealing of Lawson acceptable.
BayStars 2023 Draft Report:
Round 1 (15): SP Kinnojo "Chubby" Okawa. Okawa doesn't seem to have as high of a ceiling as the BayStars' last two first round picks, but he should be a good #2 or high end #1 at some point in his career. Already has a lot of movement on his ball and should be able to develop solid control, but he doesn't have the pure stuff of Yoshioka or Hirano. (Note: The BayStars' third round pick from last season, Sadao Abe, ended up as the 10th pick in the draft this year.)
Supplemental Round 1 (21):SS Hideyori Kamimura. If this name looks familiar, it's because the team drafted him last season in the second round. We didn't want to risk losing him, so we used an earlier pick on him. He is still a fantastic contact hitter with power to the gaps and a fantastic defender.
Round 2 (36): CF Kunihiko "U" Kamida. How the heck this guy fell to us, we do not know. He has all the tools to be a top OF in this league and may have some MLB potential if he surpasses our projections by a hair. A good contact hitter with great power and speed, Kamida is also a solid defender with room to grow. His only weakness is his eye.
Round 2 (39): SP Akinari Nakai. The BayStars rarely select high school arms this early, but the team loves Nakai's potential. Has the raw tools to be even better than Okawa, although his individual pitches don't grade out as well as Okawa's do. Has a fantastic looking changeup, though, and already hits 92 on the gun at 18 years old. Seems to be quite durable as well.
Round 3 (55): SP Kimi Kuroe. Another high school arm, Kuroe doesn't have the pure pitching ability of Nakai and Okawa, but he does have 5 pitches that are above average to keep hitters off balance. Should be a very solid starter someday in Nippon.
Round 3 (58): SS Katsunosuki Daikawa. Daikawa is an unbelievable defensive player who is already among the best defenders at second, short, and third. If his bat develops at all, he should be a solid player.
Round 4 (72): SP Haru Takashima. Takashima is a guy we really liked in the last draft, but someone grabbed him before we could. He was almost taken by us in the 3rd round, but we are pumped to have him here. He is a very solid pitcher, being above average in everything with 4 above average pitches.
Round 5 (86): 2B Yoshihito Ageda. Ageda grades out as an above average defender with good speed. He projects to be an okay bat and may be a back of the lineup starter or defensive replacement in the future.
Round 6 (100): 3B Kanjiro Inagaki. Inagaki doesn't have a high ceiling, but he projects as a good bench bat.
Round 7 (114): SS Kenjiro Kimura. Kimura is an average all-around bat with solid defensive ability. He can play either middle infield spot.
Round 8 (128): P Yoriyoshi Yamada. Yamada has a shot at someday making a roster in the league. Nothing outstanding to his game, but no huge weakness. Mediocre arm with bullpen/spot starter potential.
Round 9 (142): SS Toyokazu Hashimoto. Hashimoto can play anywhere defensively. Bat is nothing to write home about, however.
Round 10 (156): LF Hiroyasu Sakamoto. Sakamoto was drafted with the thought of being converted to a pitcher, but the team decided he wasn't skilled enough at either position to keep on the roster.
Injury Crisis Hits Yokohama
Star Pitcher Shoichi Hirano will miss around 13 months after undergoing Tommy John surgery due to shredding his UCL. This comes on the heels of learning that stud pitcher Jiro Nakagawa is retiring due to rupturing his UCL while in rehab for it being irritated. The team doesn't really have the depth to replace both players, and with the way both were pitching, no replacement could come close to having the success both were this season. We talked with GM Rogoff about these unforeseen events, which happened within days of each other.
"I was pretty distraught after hearing about Nakagawa. He was my first big money signing after taking over the job. I had hoped for Jiro to be the number 2 of this team for the next 8-10 years. We were hoping to hear that he would be able to have Tommy John surgery to fix the elbow, but there was actual damage to the joint as well, making Tommy John almost impossible to perform.
"Hirano was the first draft pick I ever had. I know injuries happen, but Shoichi has been such a class act. We put pressure on him to perform far earlier in his career than anybody expected. He heard the press noise just like we did about him being promoted too early and that he wasn't ready. The kid shut everyone up and was a world class pitcher starting with the day he was promoted. He'll bounce back from this. We expect him to be able to make a full recovery.
"It's going to be extremely difficult to achieve our goal of winning the Nippon Cup without these two guys. Every player on this team is going to have to step up. Toshiharu Kudo has filled in admirably as the #5 starter, but we're trying to replace two top 10 pitchers in the league, which is all but impossible. Hopefully Yoriyoshi Yoshioka can step into the rotation just like Hirano did and perform at a higher level than those outside the organization believe he can."
2024 Season Wrap-Up
For the third year in a row, the Yokohama BayStars earned a berth to the playoffs, with this year being the second straight as a wild card team.
Fans were extremely worried following the loss of Shoichi Hirano and Jiro Nakagawa to severe injuries (with Nakagawa's injury ending up being a career ending one). The rest of the staff stepped up admirably, though. Toshiharu Kudo was the biggest surprise of the season for Yokohama, being called up to fill in for Hirano and Nakagawa after Natsume Ito and Toshiyuki Kamihara blew their chances. Kudo ended the season with a record of 9-2, winning his first 7 decisions. The team rallied behind the unheralded youngster, giving him plenty of run support.
Adrian Salcedo and Orlando Montanez both had outstanding seasons on the rubber. Montanez led the Central division with 258 strikeouts, while Salcedo came back after a rough start (and short term demotion to AAA) and was dominant later in the season. Youngster Yoriyoshi Yoshioka outpitched everybody's expectations after his move to the rotation following Nakagawa and Hirano's injuries. Yoshioka was expected to be a setup man this season, but was fantastic as a starter.
The offense had a few surprises as well. Rookie Shigekazu Ikeda tied for the team lead in homers with 30, playing in only a part time role. Yokohama led the league in home runs, and had seven players with 14 or more bombs. Koryusai Yamasaki tied for the team lead in home runs with Ikeda, but had a down year compared to his previous MVP season. Roger Barbier and Mitsuoki Kurota both had 28 homers, but it's becoming a concern with the front office that age may be starting to catch up to them, with both players being on the wrong side of 30.
The BayStars ended up losing to the eventual champion Chunichi Dragons 4-2 in their playoff series, but the season is still a success in the eyes of many fans. Although dreams of a championship weren't fulfilled, any playoff run by this team is a success, especially with their cheapass owner who refuses to dish out money, even though he makes 40 million a season off of the team.
Next season, the team will look to acquire a few more pieces in the bullpen, along with another starter. The team will also look for another bat, probably an outfielder.
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