The Poor Man’s Analyst

How Good is Junichi Tazawa?

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Answer: Not as good as some people make him out to be.

So not everything is as simple as we might have hoped. Exactly how good are some people saying Tazawa is? He’s certainly not Dice-K, and despite being labeled a “phenom,” he’s not in the same class as Yu Darvish. Tazawa is receiving hype right now because he’s skipping Japanese baseball completely, and coming straight to America. This breaks a decades-old handshake agreement between the two countries, which is sure to anger many in Japanese baseball.

But the hype is there, nevertheless. Wikipedia goes as far as citing Tazawa’s 97-mph fastball. Scouts say he actually tops out at 93 mph and usually sits around 90. According to Jim Allen, “Tazawa is unlikely to throw much harder than he does now; his fastball barely tops 90 mph when he is rested, and he struggled to hit 88 mph at the end of last season.” He also writes that Tazawa struggles to keep the ball down in the zone.

Let’s see… Average fastball, can’t keep his pitches down, lacks stamina, off-speed pitches include a slurve and change-up. Sounds a whole lot like a right-handed version of Kei Igawa. Let’s just say I’m glad the Yankees have decided to sit this one out.

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Written by dcn29

November 25, 2008 at 4:19 AM

Posted in general baseball

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