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NPB Players

Discussion in the Pro Yakyu History forum
NPB Players
The purpose of this thread is to find out more about who plays in the NPB. It is also a place to answer questions such as where do the most players come from, how has the average player changed in the past 70 years, how much experience do foreign players have before playing in the NPB. The idea for this came from this article at Hard Ball Times. What is below is a "first draft" of something that, with feedback, I would like to eventually put on the Research section of the site.

A quick note: The time period covered is from 1936 through 2004, and all years indicate debut years unless noted.

Birthplaces

In this first section, we'll take a look at the birthplaces of NPB players.

Where in the world do these players come from?

Birthplaces by Region, All Years (1)
Region        Number  Percent
Japan 4172 83.9%
United States 591 11.9%
Asia 61 1.2%
Latin America 126 2.5%
Other 20 0.4%
It comes as no surprise that the overwhelming majority of players come from Japan, and that Americans comprise the largest contingent of foreign players.

However, I did find it surprising that players from Latin America outnumber those from Asia by a ratio of two to one. I would have thought that the close proximity to Japan to these nations would have led to more players coming from other Asian countries, much like the MLB and Canada.

Let's look at the birthplaces of players more in-depth by separating the players by their debut years into five-year sets.

Birthplaces by Region, Numerical, 5-Year Sets (2)
Years       Japan  U.S.A.  Asia  Latin Amer.  Other
1936-1939 299 16 11 0 1
1940-1944 192 1 4 0 0
1946-1949 167 2 7 0 1
1950-1954 514 24 7 0 1
1955-1959 463 9 2 2 1
1960-1964 375 35 5 0 1
1965-1969 319 19 3 4 1
1970-1974 313 41 0 6 0
1975-1979 203 47 0 5 0
1980-1985 289 51 4 2 2
1985-1989 299 47 5 9 0
1990-1994 215 70 3 9 2
1995-1999 108 92 4 35 4
2000-2004 18 113 5 35 4
Birthplaces by Region, Percentage, 5-Year Sets (2)
Years       Japan  U.S.A.   Asia  Latin Amer.  Other
1936-1939 91.44% 4.89% 3.36% 0.00% 0.31%
1940-1944 97.46% 0.51% 2.03% 0.00% 0.00%
1946-1949 94.35% 1.13% 3.95% 0.00% 0.56%
1950-1954 94.14% 4.40% 1.28% 0.00% 0.18%
1955-1959 97.06% 1.89% 0.42% 0.42% 0.21%
1960-1964 90.14% 8.41% 1.20% 0.00% 0.24%
1965-1969 92.20% 5.49% 0.87% 1.16% 0.29%
1970-1974 86.94% 11.39% 0.00% 1.67% 0.00%
1975-1979 79.61% 18.43% 0.00% 1.96% 0.00%
1980-1985 83.05% 14.66% 1.15% 0.57% 0.57%
1985-1989 83.06% 13.06% 1.39% 2.50% 0.00%
1990-1994 71.91% 23.41% 1.00% 3.01% 0.67%
1995-1999 44.44% 37.86% 1.65% 14.40% 1.65%
2000-2004 10.29% 64.57% 2.86% 20.00% 2.29%
Despite having a nearly continuous presence in the NPB, players from Asia have never held more than a hand full of roster spots in the NPB. On a percentage basis they have never reached the numbers that they reached in the first years of the league.

On the other hand, the first player from Latin America (Cuban Chico Barbon) debuted in 1955, and most Latin American players (65%) have debuted in the NPB in the last decade.


The NPB's foreign player restrictions often cause comparisons to be made between the MLB and the NPB in terms of "internationalization," but are the comparisons justified? Let's compare the percentage of "national" (3) players in the NPB and MLB.

Players by "Nationality", MLB and NPB, All Years

                 MLB                NPB
Region Players Percent Players Percent
National 8274 86.3% 4172 83.9%
Foreign 1312 13.7% 798 16.1%
Another surprise is that over the same time period (1936-2004), the MLB had less "foreign" players than the NPB, despite the NPB's foreign player restrictions.

Do these totals hide any trends? Let's breakdown the years into five-year sets:




"National" Players, MLB and NPB, Percentage, 5-Year Sets
Years            MLB        NPB
1936-1939 98.21% 91.44%
1940-1944 95.10% 97.46%
1945-1949 95.70% 94.35%
1950-1954 92.91% 94.14%
1955-1959 90.38% 97.06%
1960-1964 88.96% 90.14%
1965-1969 88.66% 92.20%
1970-1974 88.31% 86.94%
1975-1979 89.79% 79.61%
1980-1985 87.55% 83.05%
1985-1989 86.12% 83.06%
1990-1994 81.43% 71.91%
1995-1999 74.59% 44.44%
2000-2004 72.92% 10.29%
In the MLB we see a steady decline 1936 to 1959, then a leveling-off from the 1960s through the 1980s and then another steady decline.

In the NPB we see an initial influx of foreign players, than a rise due to World War II. After the war there is a steady decline through the 1970s; in the late 1950s there is a sharp increase, likely due to the first foreign player restriction in 1952.

Starting in the 1980s, there is a sharp decline in the number of Japanese NPB players (I am disregarding the 1995-1999 and 2000-2004 data sets). This may be due to the abolishment of the organizational foreign player limit in 1997 and the increasing pressure that is on these players to perform immediately.


Where do Japanese players come from? Let's take a look:

All Prefectures, Numerical, 5-Year Sets

Rank  Prefecture  Total  36-39  40-44  46-49  50-54  55-59  60-64  65-69  70-74  75-79  80-85  85-89  90-94  95-99  00-04
1 Osaka 307 19 18 14 31 32 29 17 24 16 25 21 23 12 1
2 Aichi 274 37 32 17 46 30 21 18 9 6 16 12 8 3 1
3 Hyogo 262 27 13 17 27 29 23 19 14 16 18 16 12 5 3
4 Tokyo 229 21 15 11 21 25 15 17 21 5 8 23 16 6 3
5 Fukuoka 221 3 13 7 32 14 30 16 25 14 17 10 8 4 1
6 Hiroshima 201 22 9 11 34 22 24 17 9 11 13 8 7 4 0
7 Kanagawa 142 10 3 4 9 19 10 11 14 7 7 11 7 8 1
8 Wakayama 141 17 12 11 16 16 7 10 8 7 6 12 6 3 1
9 Kumamoto 140 9 2 7 16 18 3 13 10 6 13 17 6 3 0
10 Kyoto 125 12 6 12 27 15 9 6 4 0 4 4 5 2 2
11 Chiba 124 3 2 5 5 8 9 9 15 10 16 15 7 4 1
12 Shizuoka 124 11 3 5 23 14 11 6 14 6 12 4 8 1 0
13 Ehime 114 18 4 1 17 9 11 14 8 7 6 5 2 2 0
14 Yamaguchi 101 5 2 1 13 15 9 5 15 9 9 3 3 3 1
15 Saitama 95 3 0 2 12 7 6 3 9 3 12 11 8 7 0
16 Oita 90 6 0 2 5 14 13 12 10 7 3 4 3 0 0
17 Okayama 83 3 3 1 9 15 8 13 4 7 2 5 2 4 0
18 Gumma 78 5 5 2 15 13 6 1 8 1 5 5 3 3 0
19 Nagano 75 8 10 7 12 8 8 5 4 1 3 3 2 0 0
20 Kagawa 73 9 7 2 17 7 5 4 5 3 4 4 2 1 0
21 Ibaraki 69 0 0 2 8 12 4 3 6 6 5 14 2 1 0
22 Tokushima 68 0 0 2 6 3 13 7 6 2 8 6 5 2 0
23 Kagoshima 66 3 3 0 7 6 4 8 5 4 4 3 8 0 1
24 Miyagi 64 1 1 2 2 10 9 6 9 1 8 4 4 3 0
25 Hokkaido 61 4 0 1 11 7 5 3 4 6 4 5 7 3 0
26 Miyazaki 60 0 0 0 2 6 6 10 4 3 6 8 3 4 0
27 Saga 56 2 5 2 11 4 3 4 4 1 2 5 6 2 0
28 Tochigi 56 3 1 0 11 8 10 3 3 1 4 7 3 0 0
29 Kochi 55 3 0 1 4 8 7 8 5 3 4 7 2 0 0
30 Nagasaki 54 4 4 2 6 7 8 3 2 3 4 4 3 0 0
31 Mie 53 5 1 0 6 6 6 4 4 4 2 5 3 2 1
32 Gifu 52 0 6 3 13 7 3 4 2 0 3 3 1 3 0
33 Yamanashi 49 2 1 1 5 6 5 6 0 3 7 2 4 0 0
34 Akita 47 2 2 3 1 3 7 5 1 4 3 4 4 2 0
35 Nara 46 1 1 1 4 3 3 4 5 3 5 1 3 1 0
36 Tottori 43 6 3 0 7 6 4 4 2 2 3 2 0 1 0
37 Fukushima 42 0 0 2 2 8 3 1 6 4 2 2 8 1 0
38 Shimane 41 3 2 0 3 6 4 9 2 3 2 2 1 1 0
39 Iwate 29 3 0 1 2 4 3 3 1 1 2 2 2 0 0
40 Okinawa 25 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 3 8 1 3 0
41 Aomori 24 4 1 0 1 2 4 0 2 2 1 0 3 0 0
42 Fukui 22 3 0 0 2 3 2 3 1 0 3 1 0 0 0
43 Ishikawa 21 0 0 1 4 1 0 1 1 2 1 4 2 1 0
44 Shiga 17 1 1 2 2 3 1 0 1 1 2 2 0 0 0
45 Niigata 16 0 1 1 2 1 2 0 3 1 2 2 0 0 0
46 Toyama 15 0 0 0 1 2 0 3 1 0 0 2 1 3 0
47 Yamagata 13 0 0 0 3 1 2 0 3 0 0 1 1 0 0
Most players come from the major metropolitan areas of Tokyo, Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto, Nagoya, Hiroshima, and Fukuoka.

The prefectures on the Sea of Japan in the Chubu and Tohoku regions have the least amount of players. (Is it rainier there than the rest of Japan due to the sea?)

Below is a color-coded map of Japan's prefectures based on NPB players' birthplaces. (4)


What about Americans? Here are the top 10 states:

Top 10 States, All Years

Rank  State       Players
1 California 140
2 Hawaii 45
3 Texas 37
4 Illinois 32
5 New York 31
6 Florida 30
7 Ohio 23
8 Pennsylvania 19
9 Massachusetts 14
T-10 New Jersey 13
T-10 Georgia 13
Much like the Japan, the largest states produce the most players. The exception is Hawaii, which is second despite being one of the least populated states. A likely reason for this is the large percentage of Japanese-Americans in the state, 16.7% in 2000 census. Starting in the 1970s, California has led all states with 121 players.

To see where in the United States players come from, let's divide the country into four regions.

United States Regions, Numerical, 5-Year Sets (5)
Region  Total  36-49  50-54  55-59  60-64  65-69  70-74  75-79  80-85  85-89  90-94  95-99  00-04
East 96 0 4 0 9 2 7 8 7 8 14 15 15
North 109 0 3 1 11 4 9 5 5 11 14 17 27
South 160 0 0 0 7 9 13 17 11 11 14 34 38
West 224 19 17 8 8 4 12 17 28 16 28 26 33
United States Regions, Percentage, 5-Year Sets (5)
Region  Total   36-49  50-54  55-59  60-64  65-69  70-74  75-79  80-85  85-89  90-94  95-99  00-04
East 16.3% 0.0% 16.7% 0.0% 25.7% 10.5% 17.1% 17.0% 13.7% 17.4% 20.0% 16.3% 13.3%
North 18.5% 0.0% 12.5% 11.1% 31.4% 21.1% 22.0% 10.6% 9.8% 23.9% 20.0% 18.5% 23.9%
South 27.2% 0.0% 00.0% 0.0% 20.0% 47.4% 31.7% 36.2% 21.6% 23.9% 20.0% 37.0% 33.6%
West 38.0% 100.0% 70.8% 88.9% 22.9% 21.1% 29.3% 36.2% 54.9% 34.8% 40.0% 28.3% 29.2%
The West has produced the most players for the NPB first 60 years, but in the last decade the South has produced most of the players.

From 1936 to 1949, all 19 US-born NPB players were from the West; 15 from Hawaii, 3 from California, and 1 from Washington.

From 1936 to 1959, Hawaiian-born players accounted for over two-thirds of US-born players (35 out of 52). During this same time period, over half of "foreign players" were of Japanese descent.

For comparison, the birthplaces of United States-born MLB players over the same time period.

United States Regions-MLB, Percentage, 5-Year Sets (5)
Region  Total  36-49  50-54  55-59  60-64  65-69  70-74  75-79  80-85  85-89  90-94  95-99  00-04
East 20.7% 26.8% 26.2% 25.7% 25.5% 20.4% 17.0% 18.1% 18.6% 17.9% 18.7% 18.5% 11.0%
North 25.6% 30.0% 34.6% 30.0% 31.1% 25.6% 25.9% 24.1% 20.2% 20.2% 23.1% 23.2% 18.4%
South 29.7% 30.5% 27.0% 29.4% 28.2% 26.5% 28.5% 27.1% 26.5% 31.0% 30.0% 30.8% 37.4%
West 23.9% 12.7% 12.3% 14.9% 15.1% 27.6% 28.5% 30.8% 34.6% 31.0% 28.2% 27.5% 33.2%
For much of its history the NPB has had more players than the MLB from the West and fewer from from the North.


Other Nations

Birthplace          Players  Notes
Dominican Republic 56 First Player in 1971, 3 players in 1974, 1975, and 1976; 1990-2004, 41
Taiwan 37 1936-1950, 21; 1951-1979, 1 (1967); 1980-2004, 14)
Puerto Rico 25 First Player in 1968
Venezuela 14 1936-1996, 2; 1997-2004, 12
Mexico 9 First Player in 1993
Canada 8 First Player in 1948, second in 1959, third in 1993
Cuba 8 First Player in 1965
Panama 8 First Player in 1967
South Korea 8 First Player in 1967, second in 1997
Manchuria 7 Modern-day northeast China
Korea 5 Japanese-occupied from 1910-1945
Australia 3
Brazil 3
China 3
Italy 2
West Germany 2 Existed from 1945-1991; part of modern-day Germany
American Samoa 1
Colombia 1
Curaco 1
Nicaragua 1
Palau 1
Paraguay 1
Philippines 1
Russia 1
The Bahamas 1


Notes
(1) Regions of the World

Japan: Japan

United States: United States

Asia: China, Korea, Manchuria, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan

Latin America: Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Venezuela

Other: American Samoa, Australia, Canada, Curacao, Italy, Palau, Russia, The Bahamas, West Germany

(2) From 1995-2004 most players do not have any biographical information, which is the cause of the low percentage for Japan.

(3) "National" Players
For the MLB, I used just the 50 states and federal district of the United States (sorry Toronto and Montreal). For the NPB, I used Japan.

(4) The blank map is from [here> http://aoki2.si.gunma-u.ac.jp/map/map.html], and is in the public domain according to [this> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Japan_aichi_map_small.png]

(5) Regions of the United States

West: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming

North: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin

East: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont

South: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia


Sometime next week I am planning on posting about the "pre-NPB" experience of players.

Michael Eng

[Map added on Aug 25, 2005 9:05 AM]

Comments
Re: NPB Players "Sociology" - Research
[ Author: mijow | Posted: Aug 24, 2005 8:44 PM | HT Fan ]

- Most players come from the major metropolitan areas of Tokyo, Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto, Nagoya, Hiroshima, and Fukuoka.

This is all very interesting, but what struck me was the poor showing of Tokyo compared with Osaka-Hyogo (roughly the same population).
Re: NPB Players "Sociology" - Research
[ Author: Guest: Michael Eng | Posted: Aug 25, 2005 1:51 AM ]

Player Rates

All Prefectures, Player Rates, All Years (Birth Years)
Prefecture  Player Rate  Total Births Rank
Wakayama 43.90 36
Hiroshima 27.71 12
Kagawa 23.26 37
Tottori 22.87 47
Hyogo 22.48 5
Kumamoto 21.82 17
Ehime 21.55 24
Yamaguchi 21.54 28
Tokushima 21.44 40
Aichi 20.58 4
Kyoto 20.46 18
Kochi 20.24 44
Oita 20.24 32
Osaka 19.87 2
Fukuoka 18.92 6
Saga 16.88 38
Yamanashi 16.75 45
Nara 16.11 46
Okayama 16.07 25
Miyazaki 15.53 34
Gumma 15.10 22
Shimane 14.25 42
Chiba 14.16 11
Shizuoka 14.01 9
Kanagawa 12.58 7
Nagano 11.84 16
Miyagi 11.15 19
Mie 10.81 26
Tochigi 10.64 23
Ibaraki 9.98 14
Saitama 9.82 8
Akita 9.73 31
Nagasaki 9.70 21
Tokyo 9.35 1
Gifu 9.25 20
Kagoshima 8.93 15
Okinawa 7.03 41
Fukui 6.93 43
Ishikawa 6.13 35
Shiga 5.96 39
Fukushima 5.89 13
Iwate 5.56 29
Aomori 4.71 27
Hokkaido 4.36 3
Toyama 3.72 33
Yamagata 2.96 30
Niigata 1.79 10


All Prefectures, Player Rates, 5-Year Sets (Birth Years)
Prefecture  00-04  05-09  10-14  15-19  20-24  25-29  30-34  35-39  40-44  45-49  50-54  55-59  60-64  65-69  70-74  75-79  80-84  85-89
Aichi 0.0 0.0 20.6 78.2 62.0 26.0 53.4 40.9 23.2 28.3 14.1 15.0 17.9 14.7 6.8 3.0 2.5 1.4
Akita 0.0 5.4 4.7 4.2 10.7 7.0 3.1 12.3 21.2 16.0 8.8 4.0 36.5 18.0 19.5 0.0 0.0 8.0
Aomori 0.0 0.0 4.7 12.9 3.8 0.0 7.0 9.3 6.9 0.0 5.5 10.4 4.1 4.2 4.4 4.7 5.1 0.0
Chiba 0.0 3.7 0.0 9.4 12.0 10.7 14.0 25.1 13.2 37.6 27.5 38.5 42.2 23.2 9.2 1.4 5.0 1.8
Ehime 0.0 4.4 14.8 32.3 23.5 6.5 45.5 31.5 46.4 38.4 24.0 27.8 34.0 14.3 5.0 4.8 5.6 12.5
Fukui 0.0 6.9 12.0 0.0 5.8 0.0 6.5 25.2 7.1 12.8 5.9 8.1 27.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 10.2 0.0
Fukuoka 0.0 0.0 2.5 11.5 44.0 12.1 32.8 40.2 29.5 36.2 19.1 32.5 17.0 22.6 8.3 4.7 6.9 1.9
Fukushima 0.0 0.0 0.0 3.0 0.0 4.8 11.6 11.1 8.9 8.0 3.6 10.0 12.5 25.2 3.8 0.0 0.0 0.0
Gifu 0.0 0.0 0.0 6.9 24.9 18.4 21.1 20.9 12.0 12.0 3.0 8.2 4.2 14.3 10.5 0.0 0.0 0.0
Gumma 0.0 4.5 0.0 19.1 26.5 19.0 27.1 38.1 14.3 11.2 11.0 7.6 28.4 24.9 15.3 0.0 17.4 4.7
Hiroshima 3.1 3.2 26.3 60.3 33.3 16.2 63.9 54.5 55.7 39.8 22.7 38.8 35.3 29.8 12.7 2.4 2.9 0.0
Hokkaido 4.0 0.0 0.0 7.1 2.8 2.6 9.5 7.8 5.6 3.8 4.9 4.7 6.6 6.2 7.7 1.3 0.0 0.0
Hyogo 0.0 5.0 18.6 32.6 51.8 13.6 36.1 48.5 34.9 35.0 21.3 41.0 22.3 29.6 5.0 6.4 9.6 5.3
Ibaraki 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 11.3 5.5 13.1 31.2 9.5 8.8 18.6 10.8 34.0 19.7 2.9 2.7 0.0 3.3
Ishikawa 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 5.1 16.2 10.8 0.0 5.3 9.5 13.4 29.9 6.9 12.4 0.0 7.3 8.2
Iwate 0.0 0.0 15.4 9.2 3.7 0.0 13.8 0.0 12.7 5.9 2.8 10.8 4.5 9.7 5.3 0.0 0.0 6.4
Kagawa 0.0 11.8 15.5 20.6 53.0 10.5 78.2 35.1 29.1 16.3 35.6 14.6 35.6 16.9 15.4 0.0 16.8 0.0
Kagoshima 0.0 0.0 5.9 2.7 15.0 4.7 14.4 6.8 9.4 15.9 11.0 13.9 18.4 8.0 28.8 0.0 4.6 0.0
Kanagawa 0.0 0.0 15.8 29.0 18.7 7.7 25.1 37.8 17.2 33.4 14.4 21.0 17.6 14.0 6.2 3.7 3.5 1.3
Kochi 0.0 0.0 14.1 6.6 5.9 0.0 23.7 41.8 60.0 58.9 15.8 22.2 47.8 49.0 19.1 0.0 0.0 0.0
Kumamoto 0.0 0.0 0.0 35.8 29.3 5.5 33.4 51.6 20.3 24.9 24.1 25.7 36.9 65.8 27.6 4.4 4.6 0.0
Kyoto 9.5 14.5 11.3 35.1 24.2 38.2 61.8 47.1 28.5 14.6 6.0 4.4 20.7 12.7 13.7 8.3 13.7 3.9
Mie 0.0 0.0 0.0 18.3 10.5 3.4 6.6 26.3 27.6 10.2 16.6 4.8 20.1 25.6 8.7 4.3 0.0 11.1
Miyagi 0.0 0.0 4.3 3.9 6.6 0.0 11.8 22.3 29.1 23.1 16.1 9.6 27.6 16.3 7.6 6.8 3.6 0.0
Miyazaki 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 5.1 9.6 29.6 31.7 28.0 17.8 9.4 68.4 32.9 14.0 6.3 6.6 0.0
Nagano 0.0 3.4 9.0 20.1 29.2 16.5 15.7 20.5 20.8 16.8 7.5 10.2 7.7 10.9 0.0 0.0 8.1 0.0
Nagasaki 0.0 0.0 0.0 8.2 24.4 9.5 19.4 11.7 26.0 10.1 4.5 14.0 13.4 15.8 0.0 4.4 0.0 0.0
Nara 0.0 0.0 0.0 7.1 6.8 21.3 7.3 43.3 15.0 35.1 26.4 36.9 39.8 15.7 12.7 6.1 34.4 0.0
Niigata 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.9 1.8 1.8 3.4 1.9 5.4 0.0 4.6 11.6 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Oita 0.0 0.0 0.0 36.6 4.1 7.7 8.0 53.3 54.5 52.4 44.0 4.7 25.1 12.9 19.9 0.0 6.9 0.0
Okayama 0.0 13.9 0.0 3.9 6.8 10.3 27.3 52.0 32.0 40.0 21.9 17.4 14.2 18.2 7.9 7.3 8.9 0.0
Okinawa 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 7.8 0.0 0.0 6.9 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 0.0 5.3 5.2
Osaka 0.0 0.0 14.7 31.9 47.5 29.0 38.1 36.5 33.1 25.0 33.6 25.8 32.7 24.0 10.1 1.5 2.0 4.4
Saga 0.0 7.2 12.2 17.5 48.1 0.0 28.2 26.7 23.1 14.3 16.3 5.4 27.8 57.1 26.2 0.0 0.0 0.0
Saitama 0.0 0.0 0.0 6.0 11.4 5.2 18.2 25.9 7.6 22.0 13.6 27.7 8.2 17.0 13.4 4.6 1.4 0.0
Shiga 0.0 0.0 0.0 6.0 17.9 0.0 24.0 11.6 0.0 0.0 5.8 24.3 8.8 8.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 7.3
Shimane 7.2 0.0 6.7 12.8 5.7 5.5 17.6 20.8 42.4 37.5 14.4 21.7 17.6 20.4 11.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Shizuoka 0.0 0.0 11.0 22.7 15.8 8.0 34.7 34.3 18.9 23.5 12.1 26.6 14.4 14.6 9.6 0.0 0.0 2.5
Tochigi 0.0 0.0 0.0 7.8 20.5 6.3 21.8 26.6 28.2 5.6 2.6 10.8 32.1 4.5 20.5 0.0 0.0 0.0
Tokushima 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 21.7 5.4 15.6 31.0 81.4 32.0 29.5 20.3 45.8 55.6 58.2 0.0 10.5 0.0
Tokyo 0.0 6.4 13.9 22.3 22.4 9.0 9.8 16.4 14.0 13.8 8.8 7.5 13.8 9.2 5.9 1.2 5.5 0.0
Tottori 12.7 0.0 10.6 50.2 44.5 8.4 35.0 59.5 27.9 26.0 16.3 33.0 40.5 14.1 14.7 0.0 0.0 0.0
Toyama 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 4.6 0.0 0.0 9.3 0.0 9.3 8.9 0.0 0.0 14.1 25.9 0.0 0.0 0.0
Wakayama 0.0 0.0 39.9 55.2 65.1 77.5 66.3 86.2 40.0 54.2 61.9 14.1 115.2 57.7 25.3 0.0 0.0 9.1
Yamagata 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 6.8 0.0 0.0 12.4 0.0 0.0 9.2 0.0 5.5 12.4 0.0 0.0 6.6 0.0
Yamaguchi 0.0 0.0 4.3 24.6 15.0 7.1 30.6 60.3 32.3 38.2 54.5 25.7 25.0 9.7 23.6 0.0 5.6 0.0
Yamanashi 0.0 0.0 0.0 13.9 6.1 0.0 35.8 40.1 22.8 40.2 11.6 38.8 28.5 36.6 18.4 0.0 0.0 0.0
Notes: Players Rate = players per 10000 births, 1945-1975 Okinawa data unavailable

I tried to see just how far down Tokyo ranks in terms of producing players; overall its 34th. However, the five-year sets show that in the early years Tokyo was in the upper third of prefectures, but started to slip in the 1930s (1950s debuts) and is now in the bottom third.

This might have a parallel with cities in the northeastern United States, how at the beginning of the MLB they produced the most players, but then as time went by there have been fewer players from these cities.
Pre-NPB Experience
[ Author: Guest: Michael Eng | Posted: Sep 15, 2005 8:38 AM ]

Pre-NPB Foreign Players' Experience (Since 1980)

Total Number of Foreign Players (not from Japan): 496 (19.8 debuts per year)
Top Level Reached by Players, Pre-NPB, by Country of Birth

Country Players MLB AAA MILB Domestic Amateur Drafted Academy Unknown
American Samoa 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Australia 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Brazil 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
Canada 5 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cuba 2 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
Curacao 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Dominican Republic 41 28 2 0 0 0 0 10 1
Italy 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
Mexico 8 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Nicaragua 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Panama 6 5 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
Paraguay 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
Puerto Rico 20 18 2 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Korea 7 0 0 0 6 1 0 0 0
Taiwan 14 0 0 0 3 10 1 0 0
United States 373 335 21 7 0 2 1 0 7
Venezuela 10 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
West Germany 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Table Notes:
MLB = Major League Baseball
AAA = Triple-A baseball (the highest level of Minor League Baseball)
MILB = other levels of Minor League Baseball (AA, A, Rookie, independent leagues, etc.)
Domestic = professional or semi-pro leagues in the country (CPBL, KBO, TML, Cuban League, etc.)
Amateur = amateur competition, including the Olympics, World Cup, college, and high school
Drafted = drafted by an NPB team
Academy = played in the Carp's Dominican Academy

What percentage of foreign players play in the Major Leagues before playing in the NPB? AAA?
MLB Percentage: 85.9%
AAA or Higher Percentage: 91.5%

For MLB draft eligible players (United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada)
MLB Percentage: 92.5%
AAA or Higher Percentage: 98.7%

The average MLB player played in 288 games in 5 seasons prior to playing in the NPB.

This seems to reinforce the notion that most foreign players today are "four-A" players or better.


Draft
Drafted Players by Type, Numerical
Year H.S. Univ. Indl. Other Unsigned
1965 84 16 29 3 81
1966.1 77 0 22 0 63
1966.2 17 22 5 0 22
1967 83 17 43 0 67
1968 68 20 46 1 52
1969 59 16 40 1 37
1970 58 6 40 3 35
1971 48 15 50 1 30
1972 40 8 37 1 23
1973 36 11 22 2 32
1974 33 10 26 1 15
1975 34 12 25 0 12
1976 40 10 21 0 20
1977 40 17 15 0 11
1978 24 3 16 1 4
1979 26 10 12 0 4
1980 24 10 14 0 3
1981 34 9 29 0 8
1982 34 16 20 2 5
1983 42 9 19 1 1
1984 35 12 20 1 5
1985 42 11 17 0 4
1986 42 11 13 1 2
1987 47 6 17 0 0
1988 37 10 23 1 1
1989 33 18 21 0 2
1990 31 15 21 3 1
1991 47 19 17 9 1
1992 33 15 29 1 0
1993 31 13 20 0 0
1994 28 13 21 1 0
1995 31 17 20 0 1
1996 23 25 23 1 1
1997 34 19 24 2 0
1998 30 21 20 4 1
1999 32 19 21 4 0
2000 35 23 24 4 1
2001 35 24 25 3 0
2002 36 33 18 3 0
2003 28 25 13 5 0
2004 24 30 27 1 0

Drafted Players by Type, Percentage
Year H.S. Univ. Indl. Other Unsigned
1965 63.6% 12.1% 22.0% 2.3% 61.4%
1966.1 77.0% 0.0% 22.0% 0.0% 63.0%
1966.2 37.8% 48.9% 11.1% 0.0% 48.9%
1967 58.0% 11.9% 30.1% 0.0% 46.9%
1968 50.4% 14.8% 34.1% 0.7% 38.5%
1969 50.9% 13.8% 34.5% 0.9% 31.9%
1970 54.2% 5.6% 37.4% 2.8% 32.7%
1971 42.1% 13.2% 43.9% 0.9% 26.3%
1972 46.5% 9.3% 43.0% 1.2% 26.7%
1973 50.7% 15.5% 31.0% 2.8% 45.1%
1974 47.1% 14.3% 37.1% 1.4% 21.4%
1975 47.9% 16.9% 35.2% 0.0% 16.9%
1976 56.3% 14.1% 29.6% 0.0% 28.2%
1977 55.6% 23.6% 20.8% 0.0% 15.3%
1978 53.3% 6.7% 35.6% 2.2% 8.9%
1979 54.2% 20.8% 25.0% 0.0% 8.3%
1980 50.0% 20.8% 29.2% 0.0% 6.3%
1981 47.2% 12.5% 40.3% 0.0% 11.1%
1982 47.2% 22.2% 27.8% 2.8% 6.9%
1983 59.2% 12.7% 26.8% 1.4% 1.4%
1984 51.5% 17.6% 29.4% 1.5% 7.4%
1985 60.0% 15.7% 24.3% 0.0% 5.7%
1986 62.7% 16.4% 19.4% 1.5% 3.0%
1987 67.1% 8.6% 24.3% 0.0% 0.0%
1988 52.1% 14.1% 32.4% 1.4% 1.4%
1989 45.8% 25.0% 29.2% 0.0% 2.8%
1990 44.3% 21.4% 30.0% 4.3% 1.4%
1991 51.1% 20.7% 18.5% 9.8% 1.1%
1992 42.3% 19.2% 37.2% 1.3% 0.0%
1993 48.4% 20.3% 31.3% 0.0% 0.0%
1994 44.4% 20.6% 33.3% 1.6% 0.0%
1995 45.6% 25.0% 29.4% 0.0% 1.5%
1996 31.9% 34.7% 31.9% 1.4% 1.4%
1997 43.0% 24.1% 30.4% 2.5% 0.0%
1998 40.0% 28.0% 26.7% 5.3% 1.3%
1999 42.1% 25.0% 27.6% 5.3% 0.0%
2000 41.2% 27.1% 28.2% 4.7% 1.2%
2001 40.2% 27.6% 28.7% 3.4% 0.0%
2002 40.0% 36.7% 20.0% 3.3% 0.0%
2003 39.4% 35.2% 18.3% 7.0% 0.0%
2004 29.3% 36.6% 32.9% 1.2% 0.0%


The percentage of draftees out of high school have been steadily dropping, as have players from the industrial leagues, although not as rapidly. University players have closed the gap that has been created.

The number of unsigned players has drastically dropped since the early years of the draft. These drops coincide with changes in the draft system. After the "Lottery System" was introduced in 1978 unsigned players dropped 6.4%. Following the institution of the "Reverse Draft" in 1993 only 4 players have gone unsigned, and 3 were later re-drafted and signed.

Multiple Drafts
139 players have been drafted two times.
9 players have been drafted three times.
2 players have been drafted four times.
1 player (Kimiya Fujisawa) was drafted five times.

Koshien and the Draft

29% of all draftees played in a Koshien tournament. (791 out of 2,724)
34% of high school draftees played in a Koshien tournament. (448 out of 1,304)


Amateur Teams
Top High Schools (over 15 players)
Chukyo Shogyo H.S. 51
Kumamoto Kogyo H.S. 46
PL Gakuen H.S. 43
Matsuyama Shogyo H.S. 37
Waseda Jitsugyo H.S. 37
Naniwa Shogyo H.S. 33
Kakuei Shogyo H.S. 32
Hiroshima Shogyo H.S. 29
Heian H.S. 26
Kochi Shogyo H.S. 24
Tohoku H.S. 24
Shizuoka Shogyo H.S. 22
Gifu Shogyo H.S. 20
Takamatsu Shogyo H.S. 20
Choshi Shogyo H.S. 19
Koryo H.S. 19
Tokushima Shogyo H.S. 19
Yokohama H.S. 19
Naruto H.S. 18
Kurashiki Kogyo H.S. 17
Heian Chugakkou 16
Tsukumi H.S. 16
Higashikuni Shogyo H.S. 15
Shimonoseki Shogyo H.S. 15

Top Universities with League (over 10 players)
Meiji (Tokyo Big6) 136
Hosei (Tokyo Big6) 112
Waseda (Tokyo Big6) 91
Rikkyo (Tokyo Big6) 72
Keio (Tokyo Big6) 61
Chuo (Tohto) 54
Nihon (Tohto) 52
Senshu (Tohto) 51
Kansai (Kansai) 46
Komazawa (Tohto) 40
Kinki (Kansai) 38
Ritsumeikan (Kansai) 32
Doshisha (Kansai) 28
Tokai (Shiyuto) 23
Kanagawa (Kanagawa) 22
Toyo (Tohto) 19
Asia (Tohto) 17
Aoyama Gakuin (Tohto) 13
Arizona State (USA-Pac10) 13
Chukyo (Aichi) 11
Kokushikan (Tohto) 11
Tohoku Fukushi (Sendai) 11

Top Industrial League Teams (over 10 players)
Moji Tetsudo Kanrikyoku 29
Kawai Musical Instruments 24
Nihon Sekiyu 24
Toshiba 23
Kumagai-gumi 20
Prince Hotels 19
Yawata Seitetsu 19
Tokyo Tetsudo Kanrikyoku 18
Dai Showa Seishi 15
Sumitomo Kinzoku 15
Nissan Motors 14
Nittetsu Futase 14
Columbia 13
Toyo Koatsu Omuta 13
Hitachi Seisakusho 12
Isuzu Motors 12
Nikko Hitachi 12
Mitsubishi Motors Kawasaki 11
Nihon Seimei 11
Nihon Tsuun 10
Rikka 10
Sankyo Seiki 10
Seino Unyu 10

Other
Carp Academy 10
Hawaii Asahi Club 8
Hawaii Red Sox 8
Fresno Asahi Club 1
Honolulu Asahi 1
LA Nippons 1


Note: Multiple team players were not counted.


Debut Age
Average Debut Age by Birthplace, 5-Year Sets

Debut Year All Japan Foreign
1936-1939 21.98 21.63 25.96
1940-1944 20.45 20.41 24.00
1946-1949 24.85 24.84 25.00
1950-1954 22.73 22.54 25.84
1955-1959 20.86 20.73 26.55
1960-1964 22.10 21.30 30.03
1965-1969 22.08 21.28 31.81
1970-1974 23.34 22.24 30.60
1975-1979 24.39 22.82 30.48
1980-1985 23.93 22.83 29.31
1985-1989 23.77 22.47 30.13
1990-1994 25.08 23.08 30.21
1995-1999 27.07 23.84 29.60
2000-2004 29.26 24.28 29.83
All Years 23.31 22.09 29.56
The lowest average debut age was 19.0 in 1944 followed by 19.6 in 1943, due to the war. The highest average debut age was 25.7 in 1950, likely due to expansion.

It is not a surprise that foreign players debut around 5 years later than Japanese players.

While the average debut age for Japanese players has been rising since the 1950s, the average debut age of foreign players has stayed constant for the past 45 years.
Youngest Rookie
Player Age Year
Michio Nishizawa 16 1937
Masakatsu Takahashi 16 1954
17 Players 17 n/a
167 Players 18 n/a
680 Players 19 n/a

Oldest Rookie
Player Age Year Notes
Yoshio Yuasa 48 1950 Manager
Shinji Hamasaki 46 1947 Manager
Fumio Ono 44 1949
Haruyoshi Mano 41 1948 Assistant Manager
Genzaburo Okada 41 1937 Manager
Larry Doby 39 1962
Goose Gossage 39 1990
Bubba Morton 39 1970
Makoto Yamamoto 39 1986
Re: Pre-NPB Experience
[ Author: Guest: John Brooks | Posted: Sep 15, 2005 3:29 PM ]

I went through all of the 2005 NPB players who had either MLB or AAA experience and found:
                    MLB   AAA
Player Games Games Notes
Domingo Martinez 8 0
Luis Martinez 4 19
Tryone Woods 0 N/A 1,2
Alex Ochoa 807 192
Dicky Gonzalez 20 74
Adam Riggs 61 726
Alex Ramirez 135 446
Dan Miceli 579 28
Brian Sikorski 10 58
Tuffy Rhodes 225 477
Gabe Kapler 742 35
Jaime Brown 4 55
Jeff Williams 37 147
Darwin Cubillan 56 203
Andy Sheets 356 566
Shane Spencer 538 416
Mike Romano 3 144
John Bale 27 82
Greg LaRocca 39 546
Marc Kroon 26 68
Mike Holtz 350 105
Cedrick Bowers 0 121
Kevin Witt 127 541
Christopher Wright 0 9
Jose Fernandez 21 483 3
Alex Cabrera 31 21 4,5
Pedro Feliciano 51 79
Lindsay Gulin 0 42
Jolbert Cabrera 561 338
Julio Zuleta 79 175
Tony Batista 1,179 90
Brandon Knight 11 132
Fernando Sequignol 178 326
Erick Almonte 39 334
Sherman Obando 177 201
Dan Serafini 101 68
Matt Franco 661 641
Seung-Yeop Lee 0 0 6
Val Pascucci 32 247
Benny Agbayani 383 484
Gary Rath 8 110 7
Aaron Myette 47 122
Kevin Hodges 13 19 8
Luis Lopez 52 630
Kevin Beirne 46 69
Jeremy Powell 35 16
Jose Parra 82 166 9,10,11
Randall Simon 514 468
Cliff Brumbaugh 488 507 12
Karim Garcia 488 507


Michael Nakamura 31 77
Takashi Kashiwada 35 14
Kaz Sasaki 228 3 13
Tsuyoshi Shinjo 303 36
Satoru Komiyama 25 17
Mac Suzuki 117 102
Masato Yoshii 162 0

Bobby Valentine 2,189 N/A 14
Bobby Valentine 639 486 15
Trey Hillman N/A N/A
Notes

1-AAA games not known
2-Played in the KBO(1998-2002)
3-Played in the KBO(2002)
4-Played 220 games in Mexico(1997-98)
5-Played in the CPBL(1999)
6-Played in 1,143 games in the KBO(1995-2003)
7-Played in 29 games in the KBO(2004)
8-Played in 30 games in the KBO(2004)
9-Played in 60 games in the KBO(1998)
10-Played in 57 games in Mexico(2001)
11-Played in 10 games in the CPBL(2001)
12-Played in 132 games in the KBO(2004)
13-Rehab assignment
14-As a manager
15-As a player

http://kbo.hyperboards2.com/index.cgi?action=display&cat=Baseball&board=archive&thread=1114107683
http://www.japanesebaseball.com/forum/thread.jsp?forum=76&thread=5724
http://kbo.hyperboards2.com/index.cgi?action=display&cat=Baseball&board=archive&thread=1114107482
http://kbo.hyperboards2.com/index.cgi?action=display&cat=Baseball&board=archive&thread=1114108675
http://kbo.hyperboards2.com/index.cgi?action=display&cat=Baseball&board=archive&thread=1048518876
http://www.baseball-reference.com/
http://www.thebaseballcube.com/
http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/app/index.jsp?cid=milb
http://www.geocities.com/s_borisov/jb2005/index.html
http://baseballguru.com/andrewwong/koreanbaseballprimer.html
Vitals
[ Author: Guest: Michael Eng | Posted: Sep 26, 2005 12:14 AM ]

Vitals
Handedness
Hand Bats Throws
Right 72.73% 2926 82.37% 3687
Left 24.46% 984 17.58% 787
Both 2.81% 113 0.04% 2

MLB Comparison
Hand Bats Throws
Right 66.06% 9893 80.08%, 12195
Left 27.40% 4103 19.92%, 3034
Both 6.54% 980 0.00%, 0
NPB players are more likely to be right-handed than their MLB counterparts. This could indicate a bias toward right-handedness; however more study and data (especially national data) would be need before a conclusion could be made.

Height/Weight

Note: All heights are in inches and weights are in pounds.

All Players, Average Height/Weight
Debut Year  Height  Weight
1936-1939 67.6 143.3
1940-1944 67.6 145.1
1946-1949 67.7 143.0
1950-1954 67.8 148.1
1955-1959 69.1 157.2
1960-1964 69.9 164.4
1965-1969 69.7 167.8
1970-1974 70.4 170.5
1975-1979 70.8 173.8
1980-1985 71.2 175.9
1985-1989 71.1 178.2
1990-1994 71.5 180.9
1995-1999 72.5 186.6
2000-2004 73.3 197.2
Unknown 71.0 180.4
In the past 70 years, the average NPB player has grown over five inches and gained 40 pounds.

All Players, Average Height/Weight, By Birthplace
                Japan          Foreign
Debut Year Height Weight Height Weight
1936-1939 67.4 143.8 68.4 139.9
1940-1944 67.6 145.1 - -
1946-1949 67.7 142.9 67.7 144.0
1950-1954 67.7 147.2 68.8 158.4
1955-1959 69.0 156.6 71.1 172.4
1960-1964 69.4 160.8 72.8 186.2
1965-1969 69.8 165.4 69.4 186.2
1970-1974 70.0 167.5 72.0 183.4
1975-1979 70.3 169.1 72.5 187.8
1980-1985 70.8 173.2 72.6 186.3
1985-1989 70.7 174.9 73.0 192.5
1990-1994 70.8 174.6 73.5 196.8
1995-1999 71.1 171.9 73.6 198.1
2000-2004 71.5 183.2 73.5 198.8
Unknown 70.8 175.2 73.4 193.3
NPB players have always been, on average, taller than the average male. The upward trend in this table matches the trends seen across post-war Japan and the United States. Americans have gained about an inch since 1950. The average Japanese 17 year old has gained about 3.5 inches and 24 pounds since 1950. (1)

Outliers

Switch Pitcher
Toyotoshi Chikada played for the 1988 Nankai Hawks, and pitched one inning.

Shortest Players
Height  Player             Debut
5'1" Shinji Hamasaki 1947
5'1" Tadaharu Hamasaki 1947
5'1" Kazutomo Ueki 1969
5'2" Kenichi Isoda 1950
5'3" Sadayuki Minagawa 1937
5'3" Kiyoharu Sakata 1944
5'3" Kikuichi Minami 1952
5'4" 19 Players n/a
5'5" 22 Players n/a
Shinji Hamasaki and Tadaharu Hamasaki are brothers.
Tallest Players
Height Player Debut
6'10" Eric Hillman 1995
6' 9" Terry Bross 1995
6' 9" Jason Turman 2002
6' 8" Takeshi Yasuda 1972
6' 8" Nate Minchey 1998
6' 7" 10 Players n/a
6' 6" 13 Players n/a

Tallest Japanese Players
Height Player Debut
6'8" Takeshi Yasuda 1972
6'7" Yutaka Tagawa 1946
6'6" Tadashige Matsumoto 1948
6'6" Fumio Ozawa 1955
6'6" Shohei Baba 1957

Lightest Players
Weight Player Debut Height
110 lbs. Shinji Hamasaki 1947 5'1"
116 lbs. Tadaharu Hamasaki 1947 5'1"
116 lbs. Tokinobu Watanabe 1942 5'4"
116 lbs. Mitsuo Murokawa 1950 5'6"
118 lbs. Jiro Miyazaki 1946 5'6"
123 lbs. 14 Players n/a n/a
127 lbs. 7 Players n/a n/a

Heaviest Players
Weight Player Debut Height
260 lbs. Joey Meyer 1990 6'3"
260 lbs. Nate Minchey 1998 6'8"
255 lbs. Frank Howard 1974 6'7"
250 lbs. Carlos Castillo n/a 6'2"
245 lbs. David West 1997 6'5"
242 lbs. Erik Schullstrom 1998 6'5"

Heaviest Japanese Players
Weight Player Debut Height
240 lbs. Hideki Irabu 1988 6' 4"
230 lbs. Koichi Yahagi 1989 5'10"
220 lbs. Satoshi Takahashi 1987 6' 4"
218 lbs. Shin Nakagomi 1990 6' 0"
217 lbs. Tomoshi Aoki n/a 6' 1"
217 lbs. Tsutomu Yamada 1987 6' 2"
Notes
(1) MEXT Report - Japan's Education at a Glance 2004; Social Education, Sports, Culture [Link (PDF)]


That is about all the information that I have on NPB Players. I will probably repost this thread in the Research section of the Pro Yakyu Wiki within the next few weeks after I clean up the thread and information, add charts, make it less table-heavy, etc.

Michael Eng
About

This is a site about Pro Yakyu (Japanese Baseball), not about who the next player to go over to MLB is. It's a community of Pro Yakyu fans who have come together to share their knowledge and opinions with the world. It's a place to follow teams and individuals playing baseball in Japan (and Asia), and to learn about Japanese (and Asian) culture through baseball.

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