Saturday, October 13, 2012

NPB Scouing Reports: Morifuku and More

Here are some small scouting reports I put together from the NPB playoff game between the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks and Saitama Seibu Lions on Friday October 13th (I watched online):

Shogo Akiyama is a big left-handed hitter that doesn't have the bailout swing that you see a lot in the NPB. Akiyama does not have great bat speed either, however. He seems to have good plate discipline and had an OBP .030 points higher than league average with a SLG .060 better than league average. The swing includes what may be a little bit of a chop, but he can use the whole field by going the other way or pulling the ball. He did not look like a great runner and his stolen base rate seems to confirm this even though he plays centerfield.

Kenta Imamiya has a pretty wild swing that gets him way out in front of off-speed. I say this with the caveat that when I saw him, he had to face a right-handed submariner as a right-handed batter (obviously not a great match-up). He is a ground-ball hitter with good running ability that plays shortstop.

Yutaro Osaki is a lefty hitter that will chase curves. There are a lot of moving parts in his swing. He has a skinny build with what looks like a good contact tool, and he really stays with the ball well. At age 27, this was his first year to play over 100 games and he had an OPS of .691. That doesn't sound impressive until you realize that league average was .658. His K/BB was a solid 27/17 and he struck out less than 10% of the time.

Masahiko Morifuku is a left-handed reliever with a really quirky delivery. He 
brings the ball way down, and hides it behind body. He is really small human being (not to mention being a pitcher) at 5-7 141, but somehow hides the ball behind his body.

Morifuku started by throwing his changeup quite a bit. He definitely falls under the category of "soft tosser". He has glove side tail (which must be his "shutto", which is really just what we would call a 2-seam fastball) on his 82 MPH-83 MPH fastball that sometimes moves down like a change. The 26 year old's upside is only as a LOOGY, but he has been phenomenal statistically since the change in baseball in the NPB.

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