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Brewers are scouting Kikuchi

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Online  Brewers are scouting Kikuchi
#1

Posted: September 28, 2018, 8:35 AM Post
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Jim Allen
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Scouts from Yankees, SF Giants, Red Sox, Dodgers, Phillies, Brewers and Rangers were in hand to watch #SeibuLions lefty Yusei Kikuchi—who is expected to be posted this winter.


https://www.mlb.com/news/yusei-kikuchi- ... -290440098


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#2

Posted: September 28, 2018, 9:38 AM Post
Posts: 3854
Hope the Crew can get him... might be the TOR starter they need.


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#3

Posted: September 28, 2018, 9:42 AM Post
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I like that the Brewers travel down these roads to possibly make their team better but it just seems like many of these guys from Japan don't pan out. Lots of hype for not much in return.


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#4

Posted: September 28, 2018, 10:41 PM Post
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Brew4U said:
I like that the Brewers travel down these roads to possibly make their team better but it just seems like many of these guys from Japan don't pan out. Lots of hype for not much in return.


Really? Seems like they pan out quite often and on relatively cheap contracts.


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#5

Posted: September 28, 2018, 10:53 PM Post
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SRB said:
Brew4U said:
I like that the Brewers travel down these roads to possibly make their team better but it just seems like many of these guys from Japan don't pan out. Lots of hype for not much in return.


Really? Seems like they pan out quite often and on relatively cheap contracts.

Yeah, not to mention can you imagine if the Brewers would have signed Miles Mikolas last off-season?


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#6

Posted: September 29, 2018, 6:59 AM Post
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If he can duplicate Ryu's career with the Dodgers that would be a nice addition. Granted Ryu came from KBO not the JPL, but getting a rotation ready starter in his prime? I say go for it.


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#7

Posted: September 29, 2018, 7:14 AM Post
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Before the season Fangraphs published the following scouting report on Kikuchi in this article written by Sung Min Kim, The Top MLB Prospects of Asia:


Yusei Kikuchi, LHP, Saitama Seibu Lions

Kikuchi is all but guaranteed to appear in the States by 2019. Not only does he features an arsenal that would easily make him a starter in the majors, but also he has strongly expressed desire to come over to the US. Back in 2009, as a top high-school pitching prospect for Hanamashi Higashi (the same high school attended by Shohei Ohtani attended), Kikuchi attracted much MLB interest. For instance, the Rangers recruited Derek Holland to try to persuade Kikuchi to sign with Texas. However, Kikuchi decided to stay in Japan and was drafted in first round by the Seibu Lions, for whom he has pitched ever since.

While Kikuchi has been above league average up to and including 2016, he truly broke out in 2017, recording a 1.97 ERA while striking out career-high 217 in 187.2 inning. Moreover, he limited the walks (49) by allowing a 2.3 BB/9, which is a big upgrade over 3.5 career rate. Prior to that, he’s put up a solid ERA but was not really efficient — putting up relatively high walk rates and frequently laboring through five innings with 120 or so pitches. In 2017, he killed two birds with one stone by improving his command and becoming efficient enough to eat more innings.

Kikuchi has been known for his electric arm since his amateur days. He hit 158 kmph (98.2 mph), which is an NPB record velocity from a left-handed pitcher. He typically sits in the low-to-mid 90s and can ramp it when he needs. His main secondary pitch is a slider that has a big 10-5 break. He features an arm action that hides the ball till after the footstrike, making it tough for hitters to pick up what is coming.

Here’s a fastball at 156 kmph (96.9 mph) on the inside corner:


Image

And a slider to Carlos Peguero for a swinging strikeout:

Image

It is always a bit tricky to find MLB comparisons for Asian league players. The closest I can think for Kikuchi is Patrick Corbin, another lefty starting pitcher who features a heavy fastball-slider combo. However, Kikuchi does throw a curveball around 10% of the time, whilst Corbin does not really feature it. Another good comparison could be early-career Clayton Kershaw.

With power stuff and improved command, Kikuchi should be popular among ML clubs when he hits the market. The only major question mark on him is the injury history. He had not reached the qualified amount of innings pitched in a season until 2016. (He also missed two months that season due to an injury to his right side.) He also was shut down during the 2010 and 2013 seasons after experiencing shoulder pains. Whoever bids big on him is also rolling the dice for his good health in the future. If he is able to stay healthy and translate his newfound efficiency to the majors, then he’ll be a formidable rotation weapon.


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#8

Posted: September 29, 2018, 7:49 AM Post
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But how can he hit?

reillymcshane said:
Remember what Yoda said:

"Cubs lead to Cardinals. Cardinals lead to dislike. Dislike leads to hate. Hate leads to constipation."


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#9

Posted: September 29, 2018, 9:17 AM Post
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Location: Madison, WI
Would be a real attractive candidate if not for the shoulder problem last year. The medical stuff is hard to ignore.


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#10

Posted: September 29, 2018, 12:24 PM Post
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JosephC said:
Would be a real attractive candidate if not for the shoulder problem last year. The medical stuff is hard to ignore.


True. It would require a significant checkout - and given the deal it would take to bring Kikuchi here, I'd want at least two check-ups to be sure.

But that said, this is an improvement. I'd easily let Miley try his luck on the free agent market to get Kikuchi.

What deal would it take? I'd go for a 6-year, $90 million, with two one-year options at $20 million each. A bit over the Garza deal, but that has good points:
1. It gives us a near-TOR starter for the competitive window.
2. The control would enable a substantial return three or four years down the road.
3. It isn't a bank-breaking deal that would blow up payroll.

We are five years removed from the last reports of shoulder pain. This guy should be the Crew's top priority.


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#11

Posted: September 29, 2018, 2:03 PM Post
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clancyphile said:
JosephC said:
Would be a real attractive candidate if not for the shoulder problem last year. The medical stuff is hard to ignore.

What deal would it take? I'd go for a 6-year, $90 million, with two one-year options at $20 million each. A bit over the Garza deal, but that has good points:
1. It gives us a near-TOR starter for the competitive window.
2. The control would enable a substantial return three or four years down the road.
3. It isn't a bank-breaking deal that would blow up payroll.

We are five years removed from the last reports of shoulder pain. This guy should be the Crew's top priority.


It will be interesting to see how the contract shakes out under the new posting system. That is a big commitment to a guy that will be a question mark against MLB hitters. It also seems too rich for Milwaukee; we would owe roughly another $15 million as a posting fee, plus up to $6 million more if the options were picked up.

I would love for Stearns to go after Kikuchi though. Imagine our 2018 lineup and bullpen, and suddenly you have Jimmy Nelson and potentially another #1/#2 at the top of the rotation?! [smile]


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#12

Posted: September 29, 2018, 3:03 PM Post
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I don't recall, but how did all the contract stuff work out with obtain? And is this guy under the same rules, under 25?

reillymcshane said:
Remember what Yoda said:

"Cubs lead to Cardinals. Cardinals lead to dislike. Dislike leads to hate. Hate leads to constipation."


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#13

Posted: September 29, 2018, 3:08 PM Post
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Kikuchi sounds like something Charo would say.

Cards' fans wear jorts.


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#14

Posted: September 29, 2018, 4:52 PM Post
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trwi7 said:
Kikuchi sounds like something Charo would say.


Never thought I'd see a Charo reference on these boards. That is hilarious!!


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#15

Posted: September 29, 2018, 5:05 PM Post
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young guns said:
I don't recall, but how did all the contract stuff work out with obtain? And is this guy under the same rules, under 25?


He's 27, so he's just a "regular" free agent.


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#16

Posted: September 29, 2018, 8:28 PM Post
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No gyroball?


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#17

Posted: October 03, 2018, 11:32 AM Post
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Eye Black said:
SRB said:
Brew4U said:
I like that the Brewers travel down these roads to possibly make their team better but it just seems like many of these guys from Japan don't pan out. Lots of hype for not much in return.


Really? Seems like they pan out quite often and on relatively cheap contracts.

Yeah, not to mention can you imagine if the Brewers would have signed Miles Mikolas last off-season?


I wonder how much we missed out on him by. I'd read about how Milwaukee was next in the running but got outbid by the cards.


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#18

Posted: November 02, 2018, 6:43 AM Post
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The Seibu Lions are reportedly expected to hold a press conference on Monday to announce that they will be posting Yusei Kikuchi who would become an MLB free agent.


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#19

Posted: November 21, 2018, 5:58 PM Post
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Some additional analysis of Yusei Kikuchi in this Fangraphs article from Jeff Sullivan: The Next Starting Pitcher To Come From Japan


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#20

Posted: November 22, 2018, 8:22 AM Post
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Looks very interesting if the doctors deem his shoulder ok. I’ve read estimates of a six year, $42 M deal. I think I saw that Boras’ agency is representing him. Boras and Attanasio obviously have a relationship, so maybe they will talk. But a bidding war could ensue too.

This could be one of the more intriguing stories of the offseason.


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