Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hot Stove: Tsuyoshi Nishioka could be a Giant

Enough basking in the World Series glow it is time to fire up the hot stove.

It has been reported that the Giants among other teams including the Mariners and Angels may be an interested party in acquiring Japanese star Tsuyoshi Nishioka. He has asked for his team to post him and it is rumored that those talks will take place on November 13th.

Nishioka is a 26 year old middle infielder coming off a phenomenal year for Chiba Lotte Marines posting a triple slash line of .346/.423/.482 while notching his first career 200 hit season.

The book on Nishioka is that he has an excellent glove, with good range and a below average arm. He has 2 gold gloves but I can't tell you if those are as meaningless in Japan as they are here because if Derek Jeter can win them while playing below average defense it really means nothing. Some scouts put in him as more of a second baseman in America but he has the tools to play shortstop.

With the bat he is good at putting the ball in play. He is not going to hit a bunch of homers but with his plus speed he will leg out a good amount of doubles and triples. He is a switch hitter and doesn't show any huge platoon splits that would be of concern in Japan. The one red flag about his numbers is that he has an elevated BABIP this season and I can't find any batted ball data to get an idea of how lucky he has been.

I have seen reports that he is making around $2 million in US dollars right now so if a team were to acquire the rights to negotiate the salary demands would most likely be in the $2.5 to $4 million range for a few seasons. In this shallow middle infield class that could be a bargain for a pretty young player.

If your on Twitter you should definitely follow the The Crazy Crabbers. If you're not you should really consider joining, lots of good stuff going on there.

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