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Yusei Kikuchi Posted by Seibu Lions

yusei kikuchi
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#1 Tom Froemming

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 01:01 PM

As expected, the Seibu Lions have posted left-handed starting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi. I wondered aloud on Twitter if the Twins would have interest in the 27-year-old, and Darren Wolfson of KSTP was kind enough to confirm that the team has scouted him pretty extensively.

 

Obviously that doesn't necessarily mean the Twins are serious suitors for Kikuchi, but it sounds like he's certainly on their radar. Yes, the international market can be a crap shoot, but to be fair you could say the same about free agency in general. MLB Trade Rumors had Kikcuhi as their No. 12 free agent available while FanGraphs has him at No. 14.

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#2 Mike Sixel

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 01:25 PM

He is only 27.....which I think is a plus. And, he probably has less pitches on his arm, since they generally pitch weekly in the NPB.I'd certainly roll the dice on him.

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I remain hopeful on Buxton and Sano.....but I'd not bet the franchise on them.


#3 Tom Froemming

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 01:42 PM

The plot thickens! Check out this MLB Trade Rumors post from back in 2009.

 

Kikuchi nearly came straight to the US after high school. Things were serious enough that he actually met with eight MLB teams at the time. Among them were the Texas Rangers, where Thad Levine was assistant GM, and Cleveland, where Derek Falvey was part of their international scouting department. 

 

Again, none of that means the Twins are going to make a run at signing Kikuchi, but it's certainly interesting.

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#4 nicksaviking

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 02:45 PM

I'd be game for this. I'm going to hedge my optimism until we see these big named international free agents willingly come to the mid-market Midwest teams though. It's not terribly fair but so far it seems like destination trumps all else for these players. 

 

Though the Twins did snag Park and Nishioka, so maybe it's not a lost cause. And no, I do not list those two sarcastically. Neither should be representative of other foreign players and neither should cause hesitation to dip back into the market again assuming due diligence is done.

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#5 The Wise One

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 02:47 PM

I may be wrong but if the posting fee is refundable there is no reason not to recruithim.

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#6 PseudoSABR

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 11:14 PM

Certainly worth exploring, but the Twins have had bad luck in retaining players from Asia. I believe there was turn-over in the scouting department in the last year, so the fact the Twins recruited him in the past may not have much bearing today, with the new regime. For my part, if they like him, this is the kind of high-risk, high-reward the Twins need to make if they ever hope to be competitive. 

Edited by PseudoSABR, 05 November 2018 - 11:32 PM.

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#7 Doomtints

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 10:13 AM

He will be pricey, he's managed by Boras. He will be sore, he's working through a shoulder injury.

 

If he ends up with the Twins, it probably means other teams passed on him.

 

Reports say he is deceptive and can hurl it fast. If the Twins get him, just make him the closer.


#8 Doomtints

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 10:20 AM

 

this is the kind of high-risk, high-reward the Twins need to make if they ever hope to be competitive. 

 

Everything I see projects him to be a #3 starter. If accurate, this would be a pointless risk. A proven #3 would cost a similar price or less.


#9 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 11:20 AM

Everything I see projects him to be a #3 starter. If accurate, this would be a pointless risk. A proven #3 would cost a similar price or less.


From the link in the OP:

"according to a report by MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi earlier this year, multiple MLB scouts believe he could profile as high as a No. 2 starter in the big leagues."

And, even if he is only a #3 starter, how often do 27 year old #3 starters hit the market?
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#10 Doomtints

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 11:34 AM

Good points, but I'm responding directly to the "high risk / high reward" comment. He projects to be average to average+.

Edited by Doomtints, 06 November 2018 - 11:34 AM.


#11 Mike Sixel

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 02:02 PM

Number 3 starters aren't "average".....that's way above average. There aren't even 70 good SPs in the majors........assuming by number 3 you mean a guy you can count on to go 6+ innings most starts, with an ERA under 4.5.....there just aren't that many on the planet.

 

This guy is the definition of high risk, high reward.

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I remain hopeful on Buxton and Sano.....but I'd not bet the franchise on them.


#12 Major Leauge Ready

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 05:37 PM

Extend Gibson and sign this guy and the next 4 years looks pretty decent for SP. Of course, this assumes he is a strong 3 or even a 2. Use stackers for for the final 2 spots until someone or 2 guys graduate to a regular starting role. Hopefully Graterol blazes through the minors in route to being the Ace we have been looking for since Johan left or Romero gets it together or both.


#13 Thrylos

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 05:57 PM

My lithmus test for adding rotation pieces this off-season:

 

Will Kikuchi make the Twins' rotation competitive in a short series with Cleveland, Astros, and Boston?Where would he be in those rotations? (Answer:number 3 at best,) so I'd pass.  

This team needs likely 2 pitchers better than Berrios to be competitive in the post-season.I'd rather sign Partick Corbin for number 2 and go after Zack Wheeler with multiple prospects for the top of the rotation spot.

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#14 Doomtints

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 06:03 PM

 

Number 3 starters aren't "average".....that's way above average. There aren't even 70 good SPs in the majors........assuming by number 3 you mean a guy you can count on to go 6+ innings most starts, with an ERA under 4.5.....there just aren't that many on the planet.

 

This guy is the definition of high risk, high reward.

 

#3 pitchers are in actuality the 100 ERA+ guys. That's average.


#15 Mike Sixel

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 06:56 PM

 

#3 pitchers are in actuality the 100 ERA+ guys. That's average.

 

then we have a different definition for sure.....way different.

 

also.....there are this many 100- ERA STARTERS.....that pitched 150 innings:

 

28

 

Now, maybe for some people....I don't know. But if I could have one of the 28 best pitchers in baseball......that's better than a number 3......or not, but it is still VERY valuable.

 

 

Edited by Mike Sixel, 06 November 2018 - 07:05 PM.

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I remain hopeful on Buxton and Sano.....but I'd not bet the franchise on them.


#16 Sconnie

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 07:07 PM

#3 pitchers are in actuality the 100 ERA+ guys. That's average.

mean or median?

Mean weighted by innings pitched might get you three, more likely four. In the “plus” metrics where you lineup your players in order, Median seems like a better average. That might be 5 or 6 being that the mode number of starting pitchers used per team is usually 10 or 11 (prior to openers) and mean is usually 11+

Edited by Sconnie, 06 November 2018 - 07:08 PM.


#17 snepp

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 07:11 PM

In actual actuality, 100 ERA+ starters are slightly above average, relative to other starters, as the ERA+ figure includes relievers numbers.

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#18 USAFChief

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 08:38 PM

In actual actuality, 100 ERA+ starters are slightly above average, relative to other starters, as the ERA+ figure includes relievers numbers.


In my hometown, all the starters are above average.
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#19 Doomtints

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Posted 07 November 2018 - 10:02 AM

 

then we have a different definition for sure.....way different.

 

also.....there are this many 100- ERA STARTERS.....that pitched 150 innings:

 

28

 

Now, maybe for some people....I don't know. But if I could have one of the 28 best pitchers in baseball......that's better than a number 3......or not, but it is still VERY valuable.

 

#5s typically don't pitch full seasons, nor do many #4s.


#20 Doomtints

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Posted 07 November 2018 - 10:05 AM

 

mean or median?

Mean weighted by innings pitched might get you three, more likely four. In the “plus” metrics where you lineup your players in order, Median seems like a better average. That might be 5 or 6 being that the mode number of starting pitchers used per team is usually 10 or 11 (prior to openers) and mean is usually 11+

 

I'm just using Bill James's definition, which I think is pertinent to do as he was the first to write about it.

 

I get it that others have different views, only seeing the #4 / #5 guys as "average" or worse. But the fact of the matter is, #1s and #2s are above average and that's it.

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