Japanese Batters

This is a list of Japanese batters who tried to transfer to the MLB seen through the lens of this data model. To compile this list I went through the list provided by Wikipedia on this page.  Kosuke Fukudome is left off since he has his own post here as well as Hideki Matsui and Ichiro Suzuki, the latter two might be considered the only Japanese batters to have sustained success at the MLB level.   Through these tables you can follow their careers through the Japan system and catch a glimpse as to what MLB might have seen in these players as potential prospects.

As we have seen with recent minor league successful call ups, it appears batters have a harder time making it in MLB than pitchers.  Not sure if this is a recent phenomenon and don’t have enough historical data to determine this.  Obviously batters do make it into MLB so they have to come from somewhere.  The list of Japanese batters making the transfer is quite small compared to the list of Japanese pitchers.

Munenori Kawasaki

Not sure what scouts saw in Munenori where they thought he’d make a good MLB batter.  They might have been enamored with his batting average.  Batting average can’t tell the entire story.  He didn’t do so well with Seattle or Toronto.

Year WAA BA/IP OBP/ERA PA/G RBI/W R/L Name_Tm BAT/PITCH
2002 -0.5 0.232 0.259 122 8 13 Munenori_Kawasaki_Fukuoka_Daiei_Hawks_XYZ_jpl BAT
2003 -1.0 0.294 0.352 568 51 78 Munenori_Kawasaki_Fukuoka_Daiei_Hawks_XYZ_jpl BAT
2004 -2.9 0.303 0.359 633 45 87 Munenori_Kawasaki_Fukuoka_Daiei_Hawks_XYZ_jpl BAT
2005 -1.8 0.271 0.326 458 36 53 Munenori_Kawasaki_Fukuoka_Daiei_Hawks_XYZ_jpl BAT
2006 -0.8 0.312 0.364 513 27 69 Munenori_Kawasaki_Fukuoka_Softbank_Hawks_XYZ_jpl BAT
2007 1.5 0.329 0.381 427 43 57 Munenori_Kawasaki_Fukuoka_Softbank_Hawks_XYZ_jpl BAT
2008 -1.3 0.321 0.350 457 34 55 Munenori_Kawasaki_Fukuoka_Softbank_Hawks_XYZ_jpl BAT
2009 -4.0 0.259 0.325 640 34 73 Munenori_Kawasaki_Fukuoka_Softbank_Hawks_XYZ_jpl BAT
2010 -2.7 0.316 0.368 662 53 74 Munenori_Kawasaki_Fukuoka_Softbank_Hawks_XYZ_jpl BAT
2011 -1.1 0.267 0.310 655 37 71 Munenori_Kawasaki_Fukuoka_Softbank_Hawks_XYZ_jpl BAT
2012 -0.7 0.192 0.257 115 7 13 Munenori_Kawasaki_SEA BAT
2013 -0.7 0.250 0.400 81 3 9 Munenori_Kawasaki_Buffalo_Bisons_TOR_int BAT
2013 -1.2 0.229 0.326 289 24 27 Munenori_Kawasaki_TOR BAT

Tsuyoshi Nishioka

Here’s another case of focusing on batting average and not taking into account that might not work out so well with much better pitching the MLB has to offer.

Year WAA BA/IP OBP/ERA PA/G RBI/W R/L Name_Tm BAT/PITCH
2003 0.1 0.333 0.455 11 1 3 Tsuyoshi_Nishioka_Chiba_Lotte_Marines_XYZ_jpl BAT
2004 0.8 0.255 0.304 232 35 32 Tsuyoshi_Nishioka_Chiba_Lotte_Marines_XYZ_jpl BAT
2005 2.0 0.268 0.320 493 48 80 Tsuyoshi_Nishioka_Chiba_Lotte_Marines_XYZ_jpl BAT
2006 -1.6 0.282 0.358 485 27 58 Tsuyoshi_Nishioka_Chiba_Lotte_Marines_XYZ_jpl BAT
2007 0.4 0.300 0.366 559 40 76 Tsuyoshi_Nishioka_Chiba_Lotte_Marines_XYZ_jpl BAT
2008 1.3 0.300 0.357 522 49 78 Tsuyoshi_Nishioka_Chiba_Lotte_Marines_XYZ_jpl BAT
2009 -0.6 0.260 0.360 531 41 70 Tsuyoshi_Nishioka_Chiba_Lotte_Marines_XYZ_jpl BAT
2010 2.9 0.346 0.423 692 59 121 Tsuyoshi_Nishioka_Chiba_Lotte_Marines_XYZ_jpl BAT
2011 0.2 0.333 0.467 15 1 4 Tsuyoshi_Nishioka_Fort_Myers_Miracle_MIN_fla BAT
2011 -0.2 0.333 0.429 14 1 0 Tsuyoshi_Nishioka_Rochester_Red_Wings_MIN_int BAT
2011 -2.3 0.226 0.278 240 19 14 Tsuyoshi_Nishioka_MIN BAT
2012 -2.2 0.258 0.315 431 34 42 Tsuyoshi_Nishioka_Rochester_Red_Wings_MIN_int BAT
2012 -0.2 0.000 0.071 14 1 0 Tsuyoshi_Nishioka_MIN BAT
2013 -1.3 0.283 0.344 448 34 46 Tsuyoshi_Nishioka_Hanshin_Tigers_XYZ_jcl BAT

Akinori Iwamura

Year WAA BA/IP OBP/ERA PA/G RBI/W R/L Name_Tm BAT/PITCH
1999 0.1 0.294 0.341 273 35 28 Akinori_Iwamura_Yakult_Swallows_XYZ_jcl BAT
2000 3.0 0.278 0.342 489 66 67 Akinori_Iwamura_Yakult_Swallows_XYZ_jcl BAT
2001 4.7 0.287 0.329 564 81 79 Akinori_Iwamura_Yakult_Swallows_XYZ_jcl BAT
2002 2.3 0.320 0.390 577 71 67 Akinori_Iwamura_Yakult_Swallows_XYZ_jcl BAT
2003 2.1 0.263 0.328 258 35 43 Akinori_Iwamura_Yakult_Swallows_XYZ_jcl BAT
2004 5.9 0.300 0.383 611 103 99 Akinori_Iwamura_Yakult_Swallows_XYZ_jcl BAT
2005 4.9 0.319 0.388 618 102 83 Akinori_Iwamura_Yakult_Swallows_XYZ_jcl BAT
2006 3.3 0.311 0.389 621 77 84 Akinori_Iwamura_Yakult_Swallows_XYZ_jcl BAT
2007 -2.1 0.285 0.359 559 34 82 Akinori_Iwamura_TBA BAT
2008 -2.8 0.274 0.349 707 48 91 Akinori_Iwamura_TBA BAT
2009 0.2 0.303 0.452 42 2 9 Akinori_Iwamura_Durham_Bulls_TBA_int BAT
2009 -1.2 0.290 0.355 260 22 28 Akinori_Iwamura_TBA BAT
2010 -0.5 0.264 0.404 203 16 26 Akinori_Iwamura_Indianapolis_Indians_PIT_int BAT
2010 -2.0 0.182 0.292 193 9 18 Akinori_Iwamura_PIT BAT
2010 -0.1 0.129 0.250 36 4 3 Akinori_Iwamura_OAK BAT
2011 -2.0 0.183 0.258 197 9 9 Akinori_Iwamura_Tohoku_Rakuten_Golden_Eagles_XYZ_jpl BAT
2012 -0.0 0.209 0.316 79 5 9 Akinori_Iwamura_Tohoku_Rakuten_Golden_Eagles_XYZ_jpl BAT
2013 -0.5 0.246 0.314 159 17 11 Akinori_Iwamura_Yakult_Swallows_XYZ_jcl BAT

Kenji Johjima

Kenji is a catcher and they can be negative if they can call a game well

Year WAA BA/IP OBP/ERA PA/G RBI/W R/L Name_Tm BAT/PITCH
1999 2.7 0.306 0.356 539 77 65 Kenji_Johjima_Fukuoka_Daiei_Hawks_XYZ_jpl BAT
2000 0.5 0.310 0.377 342 50 38 Kenji_Johjima_Fukuoka_Daiei_Hawks_XYZ_jpl BAT
2001 2.3 0.258 0.305 578 95 63 Kenji_Johjima_Fukuoka_Daiei_Hawks_XYZ_jpl BAT
2002 4.2 0.293 0.348 463 74 60 Kenji_Johjima_Fukuoka_Daiei_Hawks_XYZ_jpl BAT
2003 7.4 0.330 0.399 628 119 101 Kenji_Johjima_Fukuoka_Daiei_Hawks_XYZ_jpl BAT
2004 6.3 0.338 0.432 498 91 91 Kenji_Johjima_Fukuoka_Daiei_Hawks_XYZ_jpl BAT
2005 2.3 0.309 0.381 462 57 70 Kenji_Johjima_Fukuoka_Daiei_Hawks_XYZ_jpl BAT
2006 0.3 0.291 0.332 542 76 61 Kenji_Johjima_SEA BAT
2007 -1.4 0.287 0.322 513 61 52 Kenji_Johjima_SEA BAT
2008 -3.2 0.227 0.277 409 39 29 Kenji_Johjima_SEA BAT
2009 -0.2 0.286 0.286 14 0 2 Kenji_Johjima_Tacoma_Rainiers_SEA_pcl BAT
2009 -1.7 0.247 0.296 258 22 24 Kenji_Johjima_SEA BAT
2010 4.1 0.303 0.352 602 91 76 Kenji_Johjima_Hanshin_Tigers_XYZ_jcl BAT
2011 -0.5 0.189 0.243 144 13 7 Kenji_Johjima_Hanshin_Tigers_XYZ_jcl BAT
2012 0.2 0.179 0.214 42 5 4 Kenji_Johjima_Hanshin_Tigers_XYZ_jcl BAT

Kazuo Matsui

Year WAA BA/IP OBP/ERA PA/G RBI/W R/L Name_Tm BAT/PITCH
1999 2.2 0.330 0.389 609 67 87 Kazuo_Matsui_Seibu_Lions_XYZ_jpl BAT
2000 4.6 0.322 0.372 611 90 99 Kazuo_Matsui_Seibu_Lions_XYZ_jpl BAT
2001 2.5 0.308 0.365 613 76 94 Kazuo_Matsui_Seibu_Lions_XYZ_jpl BAT
2002 8.1 0.332 0.389 651 87 119 Kazuo_Matsui_Seibu_Lions_XYZ_jpl BAT
2003 2.4 0.305 0.365 655 84 104 Kazuo_Matsui_Seibu_Lions_XYZ_jpl BAT
2004 -1.7 0.272 0.331 509 44 65 Kazuo_Matsui_NYN BAT
2005 -1.6 0.255 0.300 295 24 31 Kazuo_Matsui_NYN BAT
2006 1.1 0.278 0.328 129 16 26 Kazuo_Matsui_Colorado_Springs_Sky_Sox_COL_pcl BAT
2006 -1.9 0.200 0.235 139 7 10 Kazuo_Matsui_NYN BAT
2006 1.2 0.345 0.392 126 19 22 Kazuo_Matsui_COL BAT
2007 1.6 0.288 0.342 453 37 84 Kazuo_Matsui_COL BAT
2008 -1.3 0.293 0.354 422 33 58 Kazuo_Matsui_HOU BAT
2009 -2.9 0.250 0.302 533 46 56 Kazuo_Matsui_HOU BAT
2010 -0.6 0.262 0.331 338 29 54 Kazuo_Matsui_Colorado_Springs_Sky_Sox_COL_pcl BAT
2010 -1.4 0.141 0.197 78 1 4 Kazuo_Matsui_HOU BAT
2011 -0.7 0.260 0.294 572 48 51 Kazuo_Matsui_Tohoku_Rakuten_Golden_Eagles_XYZ_jpl BAT
2012 2.3 0.266 0.312 433 43 55 Kazuo_Matsui_Tohoku_Rakuten_Golden_Eagles_XYZ_jpl BAT
2013 1.2 0.248 0.311 497 58 55 Kazuo_Matsui_Tohoku_Rakuten_Golden_Eagles_XYZ_jpl BAT

So Taguchi

Year WAA BA/IP OBP/ERA PA/G RBI/W R/L Name_Tm BAT/PITCH
1999 1.2 0.269 0.308 569 56 77 So_Taguchi_Orix_Blue_Wave_XYZ_jpl BAT
2000 -1.5 0.279 0.353 578 49 77 So_Taguchi_Orix_Blue_Wave_XYZ_jpl BAT
2001 -1.4 0.280 0.343 524 42 70 So_Taguchi_Orix_Blue_Wave_XYZ_jpl BAT
2002 0.2 0.400 0.471 19 2 4 So_Taguchi_SLN BAT
2003 0.9 0.259 0.310 59 13 9 So_Taguchi_SLN BAT
2004 0.1 0.291 0.337 206 25 26 So_Taguchi_SLN BAT
2005 -0.1 0.288 0.322 424 53 45 So_Taguchi_SLN BAT
2006 -1.3 0.266 0.335 361 31 46 So_Taguchi_SLN BAT
2007 -0.6 0.290 0.350 340 30 48 So_Taguchi_SLN BAT
2008 0.3 0.220 0.283 103 9 18 So_Taguchi_PHI BAT
2009 -1.1 0.248 0.347 304 29 37 So_Taguchi_Iowa_Cubs_CHN_pcl BAT
2009 -0.2 0.273 0.333 12 0 1 So_Taguchi_CHN BAT
2010 -0.3 0.261 0.302 131 10 17 So_Taguchi_Orix_Buffaloes_XYZ_jpl BAT
2011 -0.1 0.273 0.333 239 15 27 So_Taguchi_Orix_Buffaloes_XYZ_jpl BAT

Norichika Aoki

Year WAA BA/IP OBP/ERA PA/G RBI/W R/L Name_Tm BAT/PITCH
2004 -0.3 0.200 0.250 16 0 1 Norichika_Aoki_Yakult_Swallows_XYZ_jcl BAT
2005 -2.2 0.344 0.387 649 28 100 Norichika_Aoki_Yakult_Swallows_XYZ_jcl BAT
2006 3.4 0.321 0.396 680 62 112 Norichika_Aoki_Yakult_Swallows_XYZ_jcl BAT
2007 3.6 0.346 0.434 652 58 114 Norichika_Aoki_Yakult_Swallows_XYZ_jcl BAT
2008 5.2 0.347 0.413 500 64 85 Norichika_Aoki_Yakult_Swallows_XYZ_jcl BAT
2009 2.8 0.303 0.400 624 66 87 Norichika_Aoki_Yakult_Swallows_XYZ_jcl BAT
2010 1.1 0.358 0.435 667 63 92 Norichika_Aoki_Yakult_Swallows_XYZ_jcl BAT
2011 1.1 0.292 0.358 643 44 73 Norichika_Aoki_Yakult_Swallows_XYZ_jcl BAT
2012 0.2 0.288 0.355 588 50 81 Norichika_Aoki_MIL BAT
2013 -3.2 0.286 0.356 674 37 80 Norichika_Aoki_MIL BAT

Tsuyoshi Shinjo

Year WAA BA/IP OBP/ERA PA/G RBI/W R/L Name_Tm BAT/PITCH
1999 -0.7 0.255 0.303 507 58 53 Tsuyoshi_Shinjo_Hanshin_Tigers_XYZ_jcl BAT
2000 3.8 0.278 0.321 549 85 71 Tsuyoshi_Shinjo_Hanshin_Tigers_XYZ_jcl BAT
2001 -0.6 0.268 0.320 438 56 46 Tsuyoshi_Shinjo_NYN BAT
2002 -1.5 0.238 0.294 398 37 42 Tsuyoshi_Shinjo_SFN BAT
2003 -1.5 0.193 0.238 124 7 10 Tsuyoshi_Shinjo_NYN BAT
2004 4.3 0.298 0.327 544 79 88 Tsuyoshi_Shinjo_Nippon_Ham_Fighters_XYZ_jpl BAT
2005 2.0 0.239 0.274 406 57 54 Tsuyoshi_Shinjo_Nippon_Ham_Fighters_XYZ_jpl BAT
2006 1.3 0.258 0.298 477 62 47 Tsuyoshi_Shinjo_Nippon_Ham_Fighters_XYZ_jpl BAT