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Swallows To Acquire D'Antona

Discussion in the NPB News forum
Swallows To Acquire D'Antona
The Yakult Swallows are expected to sign infielder Jamie D'Antona [Baseball-Reference]. The Dimaondbacks released D'Antona with the purpose of playing in Japan.

D'Antona, in limited time with the Diamondbacks this year, batted .176 (3-17) with 0 HR and 0 RBI. His career minor league numbers are .303/.362/.494 with 88 HRs and 402 RBI in 646 games and 2,388 AB's.

Re: Swallows To Acquire D'Antona
[ Author: Guest: xbalanque | Posted: Nov 27, 2008 12:30 PM ]

I really like each of the D'Antona, Loe, and Rasner signings. These are exactly the kind of American players that Japanese teams should sign, and each should get at least a year and a half from his new respective team to learn how to play Japanese baseball.

D'Antona and Loe will be 27 in 2009, and Rasner will be 28. Loe and Rasner each has a significant amount of major league experience and have pitched fairly well at the highest level. D'Antona hit .365 and had a 1009 OPS in AAA in 2008. None of these guys is young enough or talented enough to be big stars in the U.S. (D'Antona, for example, does not have enough power to be a major league first baseman), but they are young enough and talented enough to become big stars in Japan and have long, successful careers there, if they can adapt to the Japanese game.

Two years ago, I posted a comment on this site in which I made what I thought was a pretty obvious claim, namely that Damon Hollins, who would have his first year in Japan at age 33 (2007), had no chance to be the next Tuffy Rhodes, who had his first year in Japan at age 27 (1996). Instead, I received some pretty strident responses about how Hollins had had a better major league career than Rhodes, which necessarily made him as good or better a player. Never mind that Rhodes actually had better minor league numbers through the same age as Hollins. Two years later, Hollins is long gone from Japan, and Tuffy is back as one of the best hitters in Japan.

The point is, these three players are all young enough to have their peak seasons (age 27-31) in Japan, and they appear to have the talent to do it.

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.

It is my sincere hope that once you learn a bit about what we're about here that you will join the community of contributors.

Michael Westbay
(aka westbaystars)

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