Tag Archives: Ichiro Suzuki

Draft dodgers and hidden gems

Japanese pro baseball will conduct its first active player draft in early December, and as unpromising as it sounds at this moment, some real good might come out of it, and not because of owners’ altruism.

It will be a kind of Japanese version of MLB’s Rule 5. Each team, it seems, will be required to list at least two players they are willing to part with and who agree to submit to a physical, and select one player from the draft pool.

Teams could choose their listed players by evaluating who is most likely to benefit from such a move. You know, saying, “This guy has been loyal and has talent but we don’t have a place to play him and we would love to see him get a shot to play every day with another team.”

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Top 10 time

This is the start of the payoff of something I’ve been working toward for the last 30 years: a comprehensive analysis of players throughout Japanese pro baseball history.

It’s been a hard slog the last month or so, but the efforts have born fruit in a method to put all those seasons into a kind of even basis for comparison through applying Bill James’ Win Shares to old data.

I’ve had broad estimates based, but lacked the data needed to make reasonable run and home run adjustments, as well as catcher’s records against base stealers, and batting records with runners on base and in scoring position to fine-tune them as well as I could.

But with that now in hand, and a new system to generate them that is vastly more efficient, we’ve got some fun stuff.

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