I was going to do a rundown on all the top draft picks from NPB’s 2019 autumn draft, but Fumiya Kurokawa grabbed my attention with a story of his alertness on the bases, so here we are.
Furukawa was the second pick of the Pacific League’s Rakuten Eagles out of powerhouse high school Chiben Wakayama. He’s a second baseman, and that usually raises questions among amateurs because if he could field and had an arm, he’d be a shortstop.
- Birthday: 4/17/2001
- H: 1.82 m, W: 86 kg
- Bats: L, Throws: R
- Position: 2B
Physical description: Looks like a left-handed-hitting Hideto Asamura who has grown into his body more quickly than Asamura did. He has pronounced movement with his front foot, swinging his toe over the plate as he times the pitcher’s delivery.
Abilities: Soft hands, quick flips. Alert, aggressive base runner. Disciplined approach, compact swings, quick hands to the ball, with a slight uppercut.
Weaknesses: Hyper conscious of setting his feet before throwing, often taking an extra step before throwing.
Summation: He could develop real power, and pro coaches are sure to iron out his throwing technique and make him an above-average fielder.
The report says nothing about his makeup or his speed to first, so those are things I’d like to fill in as time goes by. He did get to second on balls into the outfield in 8 seconds, but I don’t have enough records to know if that’s really fast or not.