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Tazawa to Red Sox

Discussion in the Nichi-Bei forum
Tazawa to Red Sox
The latest news is that Tazawa has turned down offers from three other teams, making it almost certain that he will sign with the Red Sox. Apparently he idolizes Matsuzaka, which was one reason for his decision.
Comments
Re: Tazawa to Red Sox
[ Author: Dan Miceli | Posted: Dec 12, 2008 1:46 AM ]

During the process of MLB teams bidding for Junichi Tazawa's services, the powers-that-be who run NPB expressed their concern over amateur players bypassing their draft and trying to go directly to MLB.

All this made me remember a number of years ago when a #1 draft pick of an MLB team was unhappy with the team's signing bonus offer and talked about signing with a Japanese team, but the sticking point in Japan was that he would have had to sign a 9-year contract. Needless to say, he did not do so.

I think the MLB team was the Texas Rangers, and the NPB team was the then-Orix BlueWave, but I can't find any references to this on the Internet.

Just curious if anyone here remembers this incident in more detail.
Re: Tazawa to Red Sox
[ Author: Johnny Baseball | Posted: Dec 14, 2008 3:04 AM ]

On this topic, how valuable is this guy in relation to other stars? On this ranking [Dobber Baseball], does it make sense or should he be higher?

I get the impression this guy isn't giving him enough credit, but I surely don't know. And as I mentioned, I think that few people on the site could help out over there.
Re: Tazawa to Red Sox
[ Author: Jbroks86 | Posted: Dec 16, 2008 4:49 AM | SFT Fan ]

It's really hard to get a great read on Tazawa based on the level of play in the industrial leagues (semi-pro leagues) in Japan.

There also isn't really any great projections for what Tazawa can do since stats are hard to come by for the industrial leagues, even in Japanese. If I'm wrong, one of the more knowledgeable Japanese Baseball users please point it out, but I've found in the past when trying to find industrial league stats that they are hard to come by.

Based on Tazawa's level of play, I say the high ranking of Tazawa at #56 is too high. Seeing as he hasn't even played a game in the minors, it's unsure how he'll project to the minors, a new culture, a higher level of play, the weather, and many more circumstances.

Also, I don't have anything to back it up on this, but down the line, despite Boston's insistence, they will keep Tazawa as a starter. I see him ending up a Shigetoshi Hasegawa type guy. Which, at his contract, is still a very useful guy out of a MLB bullpen and is nothing to knock on. With Boston's loaded young arms: Michael Bowden, Justin Masterson, and Clay Buchholz I just don't see where Tazawa fits in Boston's loaded pitching ranks. There's the fact that Wakefield can't last forever, but the above three have to stand above him on the depth chart since they have more of a track record to work on and are highly acclaimed by Boston.

What am I saying? To a point, I think Tazawa is being over-hyped by the American media. The American media sees a young Japanese pitcher after the Dice-K phenomenon and automatically any young Japanese pitcher with talent is the next big thing. All I'm saying, based on Tazawa's track record, is that it might be smart for the media in the States and for Red Sox fans to keep their expectations in check and realize that he might pan out as a Hasegawa type arm, which I reiterate is still very good for Boston.
Re: Tazawa to Red Sox
[ Author: Jbroks86 | Posted: Dec 16, 2008 4:24 AM | SFT Fan ]

- I think the MLB team was the Texas Rangers, and the NPB team was the then-Orix BlueWave, but I can't find any references to this on the Internet.

With help from Gary Garland's old Japanese baseball website, the kid was Mark Schramek. He was drafted twice by the Reds. Looking at Baseball-Reference, he finally ended up fading into obscurity in the Reds' minor league system from 2003 to 2006, never getting past AA.

Source: Baseball Guru
Re: Tazawa to Red Sox
[ Author: gotigersredsox | Posted: Dec 16, 2008 9:49 PM ]

With Boston's loaded young arms: Michael Bowden, Justin Masterson, and Clay Buchholz, I just don't see where Tazawa fits in Boston's loaded pitching ranks.

On top of this, there is still the chance the Red Sox will add another quality starter (Lowe, perhaps) through free agency. With the quality they've gotten from their Japanese pitchers, I think the Sox felt it was worth taking a chance on Tazawa. The money they spent for him is peanuts compared to FA signings, so it's pretty much risk-free. It's not like the $20 million wasted just for the posting fee for Igawa.

Anyway, hope he does well and works his way into the rotation this year. With the stink NPB raised over him choosing MLB, I hope he does well.
Re: Tazawa to Red Sox
[ Author: Dan Miceli | Posted: Dec 22, 2008 2:02 PM ]

Thanks for the answer, Jbroks86.

Also, I agree with you about Junichi Tazawa. I don't think he is the prospect that the media on either side of the Pacific are making him out to be. He has some talent, to be sure, but he is no sure bet to ever make it in MLB.
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