Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Another Japanese Pitcher coming to the majors? Tsuyoshi Wada

With all the hype around Yu Darvish, another Japanese pitcher that has announced he may come to the States is being overlooked. Tsuyoshi Wada is a left-handed pitcher with a funky long delivery that hides the ball well. According to my Japanese baseball scout (okay, he is a twitter friend that is very knowledgeable about Japanese baseball, you can follow him @inter_ueno), he throws a fastball, curve, slider, forkball (been a while since I have seen one of those), and change-up and can control all his pitches. He is 30 years old, and in his career in Japan, he has a 1.17 WHIP, 3.37 ERA, 8.29K's per 9 innings, averages about 7 innings a start, and 3.5BB per 9 innings. This is certainly not Yu Darvish numbers, but solid numbers nevertheless. If you remember my article on Yu Darvish, and the Japanese metric we came up with by comparing Japanese pitchers' stats in Japan and the Majors, you remember that we subtract 30 strikeouts for a season's totals, add .086 to the WHIP, and .61 to the ERA. If he comes over to the States and is a starter, you can expect 184 strikeouts, (and regardless of starter or bullpen assignment) 1.256 WHIP, and 3.98 ERA. Max Scherzer is having a season slightly worse than that, and has a WAR of 2.2. A 2.2 WAR with a "Halladay Standard" WASP (see my page on WASP above) would be about 6.6 million a year. This is small enough that a lower tier team (as far as budget goes) can take a chance on him and try him as a number 2 starter. With Darvish and Wada, we will have more data for comparative metrics between Japanball and MLB.

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