Saturday, January 7, 2012
The Mariners sign Muneno Kawasaki
The Mariners have reportedly signed Muneno Kawasaki to a minor league contract. At age 30, in his past 5 years in the NPB, he has a .344 OBP, .721 OPS, 1.1 PPG, and 2.76 PAPP. According to the Japanese metric, this is projected to be a .311 OBP, .61 PPG, 3.5 PAPP, and a -1.15 Simple WAR. In 2011, Kawasaki was worse, with just a .310 OBP, which is just a .277 OBP once adjusted for the MLB. He is also a below average shortstop according to range factor, although it is worth noting that he is above average according to fielding percentage. He homers less than 1% of the time, and walks just 6% of the time. He did have a decent stealing rate, at about 72% success rate. You usually want a 75-80% rate for stealing to be worth it. One would expect some kind of regression in the MLB, meaning that his one decent weapon would be taken away from him. It is just a minor league contract, so its not like the Mariners lose anything, but I don't see Kawasaki having success in the Big Leagues.