In Episode 25 of Defensive Indifference: A 2080 Baseball Podcast, Nick J. Faleris and Dave DeFreitas welcome to the show John E. Gibson (Twitter: @PBWPodcast) from the Japan Baseball Weekly Podcast (available on iTunes) for a deep dive on Shohei Otani, including discussion of his developmental background, motivations for posting this year, why money is only a small part of his decision to move stateside, and potential landing spots. In the second half of the show, John and Dave breakdown several other NPB stars capable of bringing their game to MLB in coming years.
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00:00:00 Welcome back Dave
00:03:00 Introducing John E. Gibson, Japan News and Japan Baseball Weekly Podcast
00:04:30 Shohei Otani discussion (2080 Scouting Reports Pitching and Positional).
00:05:00 General Background (2080 2-part feature Part 1 and Part 2).
00:06:00 Early pro; developing into a two-way star.
00:08:15 Otani on the mound; big velocity as a teenager, US vs Japanese prospects.
00:12:00 Comparing and contrasting with Hunter Greene; Harper-esque hype for a high schooler.
00:15:00 Development in the early stages as the pro ranks; discussing player development at the big league level in Japan; putting together a developmental plan.
00:17:45 How should a team approach trying to sign him? Why money isn’t the driving force.
00:26:00 So, where does he sign? Guesses at a landing spot.
00:33:00 NPB Pitchers to know
00:35:30 LHP Yusei Kikuchi discussion; injury history; Dave breaks down the profile; Derek Holland comp.
00:39:15 RHP Kohdai Senga discussion; background as bullpen-to-starter transition; John and Dave debate the stuff.
00:43:45 RHP Tomoyuki Sugano discussion; “1-B” to Otani’s “1-A” on pure talent; Josh Beckett comp; why he will not be posted despite his immense talent.
00:52:00 RHP Hirokazu Sawamura discussion; potential MLB pen arm; fastball/forkball/slider profile.
00:58:15 Gibson breaks down OF Seiya Suzuki; potential power-hitting MLB corner outfielder.
00:59:00 Gibson breaks down OF Yuki Yanagita (2080 Scouting Report); introducing the “Triple 3” (30/30 guy who hits .300); big swing, corner outfield profile.
01:00:00 Gibson breaks down 2B Tetsuto Yamada (2080 Player Spotlight); speedy middle-infielder, potential center field or super utility in MLB; another “Triple 3”.
01:02:00 When do teams post? When do players leave? How does market size impact personnel decisions. Compare/contrast US/Japan.
01:06:00 Gibson and Dave break down OF/CIF Yoshitomo Tsutsugo (2080 Player Spotlight); bat-first corner outfield potential; debating the glove and whether it should matter.