Monday, August 12, 2013

Summer Koshien Round One Pitcher Scouting Reports

The Summer Koshien is the high school championship tournament in Japan. The Spring Koshien is considered the invitational tournament, and was made famous this year by the exploits of Tomohiro Anraku and his manager. The entire tournament is broadcasted online with quality streams, so I decided to take some notes on the pitchers I saw (I didn't see all of them). This is just from the first round, depending on how much I see, I'll do another post for rounds two and beyond, but this article had gotten big enough that I thought that the first round was worth an entire post.

School names are in italics and pitcher names are in bold. I think all player names are in reverse order, meaning last name first. The rosters came courtesy of Kokoyakyu in English. Without them, this article would have been impossible. The school names came both from there and, who had the full schedule in English. The school names differed slightly at times between sites because of translation issues. I didn't really have a formula for picking which one to use. Velocity numbers are in MPH, translated from the broadcast radar gun that was based on kilometers per hour.

Aikoudia Meiden
Azuma Katsuki
A lefty with a 85-87 fastball that got down to 82-84, though I don't think the latter had any seperate movement. He also has a 71-75 breaking pitch that broke glove side like a slider. He would throw it in on righties to get them swing and miss, usually not a plan that works at higher levels. He threw it frequently, but against lefties he would tend to hang it.

Seikou Gakuin
Ishii Naru
This lefty twists his body, bringing his chest out to first base. He slings his arm from his buttocks to a normal 3/4ths arm angle. He throws a 77-78 fastball
with a 68-69 slider that had some horizontal movement. He also threw another breaking ball at 64-67, down to 60-62, though it didn't really break like a curveball. It is probably a curve, but looks like a changeup with its slurvy type movement.

Kon Yuuya
Lefty with a 79-82 fastball that could sink it and a 74 changeup without a lot of movement or control.

Kumamoto Kougyou
Yamashita Kouta
Another lefty (I promise that right-handed pitchers were allowed in the tournament) with an odd and effortless delivery. It looks like he isn't even trying, just lazily playing catch. He hides the ball behind him, turning his back about 3/4ths to the plate. His actual arm motion is a high sidearm.

Fastball was 79-82, getting down to 78-79, and up to 83-84. It has some slight movement.
68-69 occasional breaking ball that gets really good spin on it.
72-73 split/change looking pitch

Tottori Johoku
Uehara Takuma
A RHP that breaks down like a sidearm pitcher, but has a traditionally high arm angle. He featured a 82-84 fastball with slight cut to go with a 71-74 up to 74-76 breaking ball. He has sort of a flat slider at times but he did get it to drop and get good movement on it at times. His other pitches were a 68-73 change with good arm side break along with a 68 curve, getting down to 60.

Fukuiwaki Reinari
LHP with a release point that is not low but comes a bit out. His arm also comes quite a bit back. 63-65 sweeping breaking ball to go with a 78 mostly straight fastball. He got down to 76, and obviously he got in trouble when up. He also had a 58-61 curve didn't command.

Jyousou Gakuin
Lida Harumi
This RHP turned in one of the more dominant performances in the first round, with a complete game shutout in less than 100 pitches with 7 strikeouts and no walks. He throws a fastball in the mid 80s with a 2-seamer that broke arm side. He seemed to have a little cut action on his fastball as well.
(thanks to Kazuto Yamazaki for helping me with the report on Lida Harumi)

Naruto Tokushima
Bandou Yuugo
A RHP that threw 80-82 with two seam tail. This comes with heavy arm side location. It got down to 78-79 and up to 84 when he loaded the bases.
74-77 typical baby slider
64-69 curve with heavy usage
Slows it down to 58-61

Seiryou Ishikawa
Iwashita Daiki
RHP with a 86-87 fastball. I saw one 88 reading, though it got down to 84-85
73-79 slider
61-67 curveball

Sakurai Nara
Takeno Kouhei
LHP low effort delivery with sidearm like arm action. His entire delivery reminds me of Jeff Francis. 82-84 fastball down to 80-81.
71-72 sweeping slider actually located it well
72-73 changeup he would throw to both lefties and righties. He tried to throw it for strikes.

Sakushin Gakuin
Watanabe Yuuma
LHP that gets low in delivery, using a crouch and almost sits like University of Virginia pitchers but releases the ball rather high. He uses a pause with his front leg up. 79-81 some glove side cut or tail. 68-72 changeup, down to 66.

Ueda Nishi
Urano Takashi
LHP with a big leg kick, and then brings his arm down to completely hide the ball. 83-86 fastball with a 76-78 slider he used heavily. He throws it for strikes, but it had mediocre movement. It almost acts as cutter, though usage suggests that it is not. 76 change, good deception, some drop and stays arm side.

Yanagizawa Kazuki
RHP with a 84-88 fastball
72-74 change with a lot of drop, probably more of a fork or splitter. He brings his hands over head slow delivery with no runners on base. 74-76 slider, would use it against lefties. more of the down slider

Kisaradzu Sogo
Chiba Takao
RHP with a high leg kick, and a little bit of tilt. He threw some really slow curves at 57-61. He would throw it a little bit harder at 64. 73 is probably slider, breaks straight down but is more glove side than curve heavy breaking ball usage. The slider gets up to 75-76. His fastball is at 81-83 maybe a little tail but not great movement.

Okinawa Shoguka
Ura Atsushi
RHP with a high leg kick and a long pause. 81-83 fastball, with a 75-76 slider he didn't control but could get good movement with it. He also had 76 changeup that drifted arm side. He had significant delivery problems early in the game, "flying open" and not finishing the pitches, leaving them up and arm side dramatically.

Higa Kenichirou
LHP that gets really low in delivery, as he sweeps his leg out and gets it up. It is a rather strange motion that I don't see the point of. I don't think it adds deception and his release point is pretty far out. 78-80 down to 77 on fastball
70-71 change that has some soft slide type movement, it was dangerous when up.

Fukuchiyama Seibi
Nakanakiri Kouta 
RHP that was one of the more broad chested guys that I saw pitch in the first round of the Summer Koshien. His delivery contains an instant where he puts the behind his kicking leg, making it look like he is putting it between his legs. He throws 86-88 decent movement and spin down to 83-84. 66 curve and 75-76 slider he broke a bat with.

Maebashi Ikuei
Takahashi Mitsunari
RHP with a traditional leg kick and pause. 84-87, up to 88-89, down to 82. He can get it to tail arm side quite a bit. 73-76 slider, with good downward drop. He seems to have a split at 76 to go along with it. 81 change with a lot of arm side and downward movement. It gets very far away from lefties. He also has a 63-69 curve.

Iwakuni Shogyo
Takahasi Yuuya
83-87 fastball
73-78 sweeping slider
74-77 change
60 curve

Sasebo Jitsugyou
Kinoshita Ai
LHP with a 79-84 fastball. 71-76 slider with good two way movement, can be a little slurvy. Looks like it gets up to 76-78 as well.

Shonan Kagoshima
Yamashita Atsuhiro
78-81 fastball
73 forkball
64-69 curve, down to 59.

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