Tag Archives: Arizona Diamondbacks

The kotatsu league: Huff gets minor league deal with Diamondbacks

After two years with the Yakult Swallows of Japan’s Central League, 35-year-old lefty David Huff has signed a minor league contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks and was assigned to their Triple-A affiliate, the Reno Aces announced Tuesday.

Here is Huff’s NPB English player page.

Here’s my interview with David early into last season, when he discussed various aspects of the NPB experience and the things pitchers need to learn in Japan.

David Huff interview April 2019

Here’s the link to the Japan Baseball Weekly Podcast I do with John E. Gibson.

Huff had terrible luck with balls in play in 2018. When the Swallows’ defensive efficiency rating improved from .675 to .714 in 2019, when he mostly ditched his changeup and saw his fastball become more effective (13th best in NPB among the 91 pitchers with 60-plus innings pitched — according to analytics site Delta Graphs).

As a result, he became a useful part of the Swallows’ bullpen, saving three games and recording 26 saves, the sixth most in NPB.

Akiyama going to Reds

The Nikkan Sports has reported early Tuesday morning in Japan that outfielder Shogo Akiyama has reached an agreement on a three-year contract worth in excess of $15 million, citing a source.

The 31-year-old center fielder and leadoff man is easily the most balanced all-around hitter in Japan see my profile of him HERE. He is expected to take a physical with the Reds in the coming days. In addition to the Reds, the San Diego Padres, Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays, Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago Cubs were all reportedly interested in NPB’s single-season hit record holder.

Akiyama home run collection.

The Reds are the only major league club that has never had a Japanese player on its active roster.

A collection of Akiyama’s defensive highlights.