Thursday, December 1, 2011

Free Agent Watch: Hiroyuki Nakajima

Reportedly the Rays are interested in Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima. In 2011, he had a .354 OBP, .787 OPS, and 1.849 O4S. From 2007-2010, Nakjima had a .389 OBP, .880 OPS, 1.49 PPG, and 2.39 PAPP. This means that his simple WAR per season was 4.32. Through the Japanese hitting metric (a rough calculus using previous players who have come from Japan to the majors. This is supposed to give us an estimate of how good the player will be in the MLB), Nakajima would have a .356 OBP, 1 PPG, and 3.13 PAPP. This would be about a 1.96 Simple WAR, worth not quite 6 million dollars. He walks about 9.4% of the time, and homered 3.2% of the time. That is very impressive for a shortstop. His Isolated Slugging is all that impressive at .178, but he does have a nice Secondary Average of .306. That is him offensively, but what about defensively? Well defensive statistics from Japan are always tough to find, and Baseball Reference only has his 2007 defensive statistics. In that season, he had a .968 fielding percentage and 4.30 Range Factor. In 2011 in the Majors, league averages for shortstops were .971 fielding percentage and 4.39 Range Factor. So if Nakajima's statistics on defense are reliable, he (at least that season) is a bit under average defensively. However, this probably shouldn't affect his value too much, as one could quickly say he is a replacement fielder. Either way, it appears Nakjima is a SS that can give you a WAR close to 2, so if someone signs him for 4 to 5 million dollars a year, it would make a lot of sense.

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