Saturday, October 26, 2013

Rakuten Golden Eagles' 2013 Draft Picks

Despite advancing to the Japan Series, the Rakuten Golden Eagles of the NPB landed the most high profiled player in the 2013 draft, Yuki Matsui. Rakuten's second round pick Yasuhito Uchida was someone I saw in Koshien broadcasts. In this post, I wanted to look at the other 7 picks by Rakuten, all pitchers, so I found video of the pitchers,made GIFs of their deliveries, and found what I could on each pitcher. The pitchers are in order of draft position.

Kodai Hamaya: 6'1, 172

The 20 year old was in the Industrial League and gets up to 91 MPH with a curve, slider, and forkball (about 81 MPH). A former 1st baseman and outfielder, he was throwing 86 MPH when he first started pitching, before he added weight. He is still skinny and could perhaps add a little more weight.

Yuri Furukawa: 5'10, 172

An 18 year old out of high school, he gets up to 92 MPH on his fastball, and actually hit that at the end of an outing, showing some strength. He also throws a 71 MPH soft slider (or non loopy curve) and a 76 MPH change. Evidently, he has some power as a hitter, which means nothing for a Pacific League team (since they have the DH), but may speak to his strength.

Yusuke Nishimiya: 5'11, 176

22 year old out of college, a fastball/slider pitcher, that gets up to 92 MPH, with the slider at about 74 MPH. He'll also throw a splitter at 80 MPH, and a curve at 68 MPH. He's got quite a bit of college/tournament success with high strikeout outings. Control may be a problem as it came with a lot of walks as well. In video I saw of him, he was an extreme arm side pitcher.

Takaaki Yokoyama: 5'11, 174

22 year old out of college that gets up to 91-92 MPH (mainly around 87), with a wide array of pitches, evidently throwing a 2-seam, change (74 MPH), fork, curve (62), and slider (74). 

Kazutomo Aihara: 6'2, 159
He will turn 24 in a couple days, coming out of the industrial league. He gets up to 87 MPH with a slider (74), curve (62), and change (74)

Susumu Aizawa: 5'8, 154

26 years old industrial league pitcher that gets up to about 91 MPH with a moving fastball/cutter, curve (62 MPH), and slider (74).

I couldn't find any video of Rakuten's final pick, Ryuta Konno (20 year old out of high school, about 5'9 154), but I did find that he can get his fastball up to at least 89 MPH.

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