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    Posts Tagged ‘bocachica’

    Hiram Bocachica Interview at Marinerds

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 August 12日 Tuesday

    Deanna at the Marinerds blog has a neat interview with Hiram Bocachica of the Pacific League leading Saitama Seibu Lions. As she writes, the Lions don’t get much coverage in the English media (or even the Japanese media for that matter), so this is nice to see. And Bocachica is quietly having a solid season (.240/.330/.550, 15HR 32RBI in 57 games) hidden in the shadows of Olympic bound G.G. Sato (.946 OPS) and Hiroyuki Nakajima (.985 OPS), as well as Takeya Nakamura (27HR) and Craig Brazell (25HR) chasing the homerun title.

    Here’s a couple of tidbits that I found interesting.

    How does it feel to come to a championship team like this?

    Well, I did a bit of research before I signed, heard a lot about the team. You know, what players came out of this team, guys like [Daisuke] Matsuzaka and [Kazuo] Matsui, and I think that’s one of the reasons I signed with them. I knew it was going to be a pretty good team and was going to compete, so that helped to make my decision a lot easier.

    I didn’t know how much foreign players looked into new teams overseas before signing with them, so this was interesting.

    I was going to ask about the fans, actually. Do you think it’s good or bad with all the cheering?

    It’s pretty good! They don’t care about what the score is, they always cheer, they never boo you. They don’t look at the bad stuff, they only think of the good stuff, and I think that’s something the American fans could learn from the fans here in Japan.

    You’ve been doing great. You’re really popular.

    I’m doing all right. The fans are great, and like I told you, they only look at the things that you do positive, and that helps a LOT.

    For some players, fan reactions do matter (take notes, fans in New York and Philly  😛 ). So the constant cheering in Japan is good for someone like Bocachica.

    I’m sure in both cases above, they depend on the player, but I found these things interesting coming straight from a player’s mouth.

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    Posted in 02_English, baseball, culture, information, NPB, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    NPB Power Rankings 08.6.3

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 June 3日 Tuesday

    Another busy week, so a short poster here. This interleague week’s day off was Monday. We have completed the first 2 weeks of interleague play now.

    1. Hanshin Tigers(1) 34-17-1 .667

    6-4 against PL teams, most importantly winning both games against PL leading Lions at home in Koshien. It’ll be interesting to see how they’ll fare in the return trip, but this definitely cemented the Tigers place at the top of this ranking.

    2. Saitama Seibu Lions(3) 34-21-1 .618

    Lost both games to the Tigers (though took the other cats to extra innings in the second game), but split the pair of games against the Dragons at home. 76 homeruns in 56 games is still far outpacing the next best homerest NPB team Dragons with 50 in 53 games and Buffaloes with 46 in 57 games. Bocachica with his amazing .997 OPS is still hitting 9th in the order, because the team’s still winning and pro athletes tend to be superstitious (they started him off hitting 9th when he first came back from the minors, understandably). 5-5 in interleague so far. Brazell continues to suck hard in the middle of the order with a .263 OBP and .416 SLG (and he started off the year scorching hot too!), there’s absolutely no justification for continuing to let him hit in the 4 spot… other than superstition.

    3. Chunichi Dragons(2) 28-22-3 .560

    4-6 in interleague competition so far, slowly but steadily falling behind the Tigers in the CL standings and in this ranking as well. Split its games against the Lions, but lost both games to the Fighters, it’s never a good sign when you give up 11 runs to the weakest hitting club in the nation.

    4. Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles(4) 29-26 .527

    7-3 in interleague, the team is starting to play up to its Pythagorean expectations (248 – 195 RS – RA), this team is for real. Surprisingly, they’re getting all this run scoring (2nd in PL) done while hitting by far the least homeruns in the league at 26.

    5. Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters(5) 32-25-1 .561

    Team continues to defy Mr. Pythagoras (197 – 192 RS – RA). With the team having played 40% of its game, this is probably real too (again), a repeat of last season. The ability to win low scoring games favours the team in the postseason as well, so I suppose I could/should rank them higher… oh, another 7-3 team in interleague here.

    6. Fukuoka Softbank Hawks(7) 30-28 .517

    7-3 in interleague. Trailing the Eagles by only half a game, the battle for the final playoff berth in the PL is interesting too. Though this team’s propensity of giving up runs (242 RA is by far the worst among the top 4 PL teams) means they should be further back.

    7. Hiroshima Toyo Carp(10) 23-25-2 .479

    6-4 against PL teams. The team’s winning again, doing a good job of keeping the Giants at bay.

    8. Tokyo Yomiuri Giants(7) 25-28-1 .472

    5-5 interleague record so far. Sunk below the poor Carp in the CL standings though. The team of high rollers continue to sputter along, making it a 3 horse race for 3rd place. 

    9. Tokyo Yakult Swallows(6) 22-28 .440

    Struggling, with a 3-7 record against PL teams. Guiel’s posting a pedestrian .734 OPS, but his BA of .216 is by far the lowest amongst all qualifying CL batters and is acting as a black hole in the lineup. He struck out twice in key plate appearances late in the game that I went to see. He needs to start hitting, and with Aoki back in the lineup, the team has better potential to get back into the playoff race.

    11. Chiba Lotte Marines(9) 24-34 .414

    Woes continue with 3-7 record in interleague which brought them all the way to the bottom of the PL standings. Can’t decide if Bobby’s Marines are worse than the Buffaloes, but they’ve definitely have sunken to the bottom of the heap.

    11. Orix Buffaloes(11) 25-32 .439

    Hey, 5-5 against the CL, not bad, not bad at all. And managed to climb above the slumping Marines in the PL standings to boot.

    12. Yokohama BayStars(12) 15-35-1 .300

    Exactly .300! 2-8 against PL teams, so far so bad, as expected.

    Posted in 02_English, baseball, information, NPB, opinion, Sabermetrics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

    NPB Power Rankings 08.05.19

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 May 19日 Monday

    Yeah, I keep on changing the title format as well, shoot me  😛

    1. Hanshin Tigers(1) 28-13-1 .683

    Very strong hold on 1st place in CL. With setup man Jeff Williams back from injury, the invincible JFK relief trio (with Kubota, and closer and fireballer Fujikawa) is back together for the first time since opening day. This means that starters really only need to pitch 6 solid innings to give the team a chance to win. Combined this with Akahoshi, Arai, Toritani, and Kanemoto being 1, 2, 4, and 5 in the CL OBP rankings means that this team deserves its record and ranking.

    2. Chunichi Dragons(2) 24-16-3 .600

    Similar formula as the Tigers with solid pitching (2.79 team ERA good for 2nd after Hanshin’s 2.69) and hitters who get on base (Dragons have 5-10th place locked up in CL OBP rankings with Ibata, Woods, Morino, Wada, and Nakamura, respectively). The team’s Pythagorean expectations are similar to the Tigers, and its bullpen just as effective. So it shouldn’t be a surprise if the Dragons manage to narrow the 3.5 game gap with the Tigers during the upcoming 24 game (2 games each, home and away) interleague period.

    3. Saitama Seibu Lions(3) 29-16-1 .644

    This team can sure hit. It’s sluggers have launched 63 homers in 46 games, far outpacing the 2nd place teams which are the Dragons and Giants both with 45. The PL SLG leaderboard features G.G. Sato on top with .615, and Nakajima and Nakmura in 3rd and 9th. Hiram Bocachica’s been playing amazing since his short reconditioning stint down in 2-gun, he now sports 10 HR and 1.086 OPS in only 26 games. He really should replace Craig Brazell in the middle of the lineup, as this man has no plate discipline, walking only 7 times in 198 PA for a miserable .278 OBP. I reckon the league’s already figured out that you don’t have to throw strikes to him. Since he never displayed any plate discipline in Minor League Baseball, the chances of him suddenly developing this skill here is virtually unlikely, and it’ll likely be his downfall. (Bocachica’s still hitting 9th(!) and that’s a travesty.)

    4. Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles(4) 22-23 .489

    This team can score runs too, with its 203 runs only trailing explosive Seibu’s 229. With 166 RA, the team should have a winning record, as amazingly as that sounds for this recent expansion franchise.

    5. Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters(7) 25-22 .532

    Smoke and mirrors or a continuation of last year’s successful small ball? A 152 – 164 RS – RA has been helped by some offensive outbursts this month (finally).

    6. Tokyo Yakult Swallows(6) 19-21 .475

    Continues to play its near .500 ball, now with the crosstown rival Giants hot on their heels. Aaron Guiel’s continued troubles (his OPS is now down to .755) is worrisome as he’s the team’s lone pure power source. On the other hand, relievers Oshimoto (0 ER in 20 IP!), Matsuoka (0.56 ERA in 17.2 IP), and closer Lim (0.56 ERA and 12 saves in 16 IP) have been shutdown dominant. And starters led by Ishikawa (2.63 ERA in 61.2 IP) have been holding their own.

    7. Tokyo Yomiuri Giants(10) 20-23-1 .465

    As expected, the Evil Empire have finally started hitting, and winning a little more accordingly. The team’s ugly BA in the .230s have been brought up to .250 in the last few weeks, but it’s team OBP is still a CL worst .299. Expect the fight for 3rd and final playoff spot against the Swallows to continue, as this team’s not in same class with the Tigers and Dragons. Especially with regulars like Lee and Uehara missing.

    7. Fukuoka Softbank Hawks(8 ) 23-25 .479

    Continuing to plod along like this (similar to the Giants) with 191 – 210 RS – RA, the Hawks are currently fundamentally weaker than the Eagles.

    9. Chiba Lotte Marines(5) 21-27 .438

    The Marines are in a free fall, as Bobby V’s team has gone 4-13 since we last checked in. Probably not what the manager had in mind as he was featured in a student made documentary about him on ESPN.

    10. Hiroshima Toyo Carp(9) 17-21-1 .447

    Better pitching (3.35 ERA is 3rd in CL) than the Giants, but .364 SLG is worst in CL and the Carp play in an extreme hitter’s park! 

    11. Orix Buffaloes(11) 20-27 .426

    The always injured greybeard slugger Kiyohara hit a homerun… in the minors. Nothing new here, move along.

    12. Yokohama BayStars(12) 13-27-1 .325

    Yay, the BayStars brought their winning percentage above .300!

    I plan on alternating power rankings and a more sabermetric individual performance reviews every other week, unless work or real life puts up too much interference.

    Posted in 02_English, baseball, information, NPB, opinion, Sabermetrics, statistics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    2008.5.12 Pitching and Batting leaders

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 May 13日 Tuesday

    Just a quick run down on pitching and batting leaders in NPB as of 5/12 after the slew of Golden Week holidays games.

     

    FIP

    ERA

    Pitcher

    Team

     

    防御率

       
           

    1.89

    1.66

     Iwakuma

    TRGE

    1.93

    3.17

     Sugiuchi

    FSH

    2.20

    2.2

     Lewis

    HC

    2.31

    2.77

     Greisinger

    YG

    2.57

    2.22

     Komatsu

    OB

    2.75

    2.26

     Shimizu

    CLM

    2.77

    3.45

     Utsumi

    YG

    2.79

    2.31

     Tanaka

    TRGE

    2.81

    1.46

     Darvish

    HNF

     

     

    OPS

    Batter

    Team

         
         

    1.051

     Yamasaki

    TRGE

    1.009

     Sato

    SSL

    0.983

     Tanaka

    HNF

    0.949

     Hashimoto

    CLM

    0.945

     Rhodes

    OB

    0.94

     Arai

    HT

    0.93

     Ramirez

    YG

    0.927

     Matsunaka

    FSH

    0.921

     Morino

    CD

    0.898

     Nakajima

    SSL

     

    Yes, I know that both metrics are far from perfect, but since there’s no information like this out there right now for NPB, I thought I’d provide one (hopefully periodically). I used the constant of 3 for FIP because NPB is a low power, small ball, low scoring league.

    No surprises that some Giants like Greisinger and Utsumi show up as being underrated when you compare their FIP to ERA, the team doesn’t value defense.

    And there are no surprises on the OPS side, either they’re proven sluggers or hitters who have started off the year hot. Yamasaki is an interesting case, he may just be continuing his hot streak which lasted all of last year, or maybe proving that he turned a corner in his age 38 season last year when he suddenly regained his form from 10 years ago when he battled Hideki Matsui for the homerun title when he was a Dragon. He won the homerun title last season, and is currently leading the league in AVG and OPS.

    Bocachica hasn’t reached the number of plate appearances to qualify, but he’s doing great at .950 OPS. And despite his major slump the last few weeks, Guiel is still 24th in NPB in OPS at .801.

    Posted in 02_English, baseball, information, NPB, opinion, Sabermetrics, statistics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »