As we’re just about halfway through the season, I thought I would do a run-down of how all the new guys are doing. This report will include all the 2015 draft picks as well as the new foreign guys that have come in this season.
#1 – Shinnosuke Ogaswara (Tokai University Sagami High)
2-gun stats: 6 games, 2L, 26.1 IP, 22 SO, 5.47 ERA
1-gun stats: 3 games, 1L, 15 IP, 10 SO, 3.60 ERA
Sato has also seen some first team action already this year and became the first Dragons player since Kenshin Kawakami to claim a win in a starting debut in his performance against the Yokohama Baystars. He was used as a reliever a couple of games later much to the dismay of many and hasn’t been seen in the first-team since. Looks like he could still be good in the time to come.
2-gun stats: 8 games, 1W1L, 22.1 IP, 16 SO, 3.22 ERA
1 gun stats: 4 games, 1W, 10.2 IP, 7 SO, 5.91 ERA
The industrial league’s best catcher was brought in to give more competition to Katsura and Sugiyama but has only seen one match in the 1st team so far and that was from the bench. Takuma Kato was preferred over him on opening day, but it looks like he is finding his feet in the 2-gun with some good batting on show. Next year he will probably be in the mix to be the 3rd catcher off the rank.
2-gun stats: 26 games, 52 AB, 2 HR, 5 RBI, .308 Avg, .462 SLG, .400 OBP
The young lefty has been probably the most frequently used by Tanishige this season. He showed good promise in the pre-season open games and has obviously been showing the right stuff in training. Deployed mostly as a long-reliever this year he has done reasonably well. He got his first win when Drew Naylor went down with injury after one batter in May against the Giants, and has otherwise been thereabouts in the bullpen. Recently he hasn’t seen much time I believe due to the resurgence of Takuya Okada and the emergence of Ryuya Ogawa.
1-gun stats: 22 games, 1W1L, 4 HLD, 36.2 IP, 27 SO, 4.17 ERA
Abe was given Wada’s #5 by management which should give some indication of expectation, but the utility infielder has struggled a bit adapting to the pro game. He has only featured in the Western League so far and has been at the end of a few errors in the field and hasn’t really been doing a whole lot with the bat either. Given the other options ahead of him for the infield positions, there’s next to no chance we’ll see him in the first team this year.
2-gun stats: 25 games, 68 AB, 7 RBI, .206 Avg, .324 SLG, .304 OBP
Not much to really say about Ishioka. He was injured at the beginning of the season and has just started getting back into the swing of things. He has looked very good in his showings in the Western League so far but it is a bit early to tell as to how far he can continue his form. A good batting infielder by the looks and he may well get a look-in for the first team this season if all goes well.
2-gun stats: 11 games, 26 AB, 10 H, .385 Avg, .500 SLG, .448 OBP
This one has me scratching my head now. Ohba was the Dragons first signing of the season through a cash settlement with the Hawks. My initial thought was that he might be another piece to put in our starting rotation, but he hasn’t seen any time in the first team at all. Not only that, but he’s been limited in his action with the 2-gun as well. As a youngster Ohba was very highly though of and had 6 teams after him in the draft where the Hawks claimed him, but I really don’t understand why just yet.
2-gun stats: 7 games, 2L, 16.1 IP, 7 SO, 6.06 ERA
#1 – Dayan Viciedo (Chicago White Sox)
Well, the Dragons were missing homeruns last season and Viciedo has provided them. The Cuban announced himself with 3 homeruns in consecutive games of the opening series of the season against the Hanshin Tigers to set a record for the first foreign player to do so. He hasn’t just been hooking balls into the left stand either as he has been placing homers all over the park. His early pace saw him on track for a 40+ homer season, but pitchers have been able to find him out a bit more recently. Tigers manager, Tomoaki Kanemoto mentioned early on that Viciedo was weak to dropping balls like curves and forks and that seems to have become standard across Japan now when approaching him. Still, Viciedo’s presence has been immense and “El Tank” has become an instant fan favourite and a constant starter at first-base for the Dragons.
1-gun stats: 70 games, 257 AB, 46 RBI, 16 HR, .276 Avg, .518 SLG, .363 OBP
Jordan came into the team as a respected long-relief pitcher with experience in the MLB but Tanishige and the pitching staff started to turn him into a starter as soon as he got off the plane. Norberto made his debut as a relief pitcher against the Tigers, but has since been a constant part of the starting rotation. The lefty has the stamina of an ox and is as miserly as Ebenezer Scrooge, barely giving up an inch when on the mound. He and Viciedo have easily been two of the best pick-ups in the off-season for dare I say it the entire central league.
2-gun stats: 1 game, 1W, 5 IP, 4 SO, 0.00 ERA
1-gun stats: 11 games, 4W1L, 66.1 IP, 53 SO, 2.04 ERA
The Dominican closer was highly touted on his introduction to the team as a man that could throw a 163km/h fast-ball. He hasn’t had the chance to show it however as he injured his shoulder in Spring training. Given the woes with Koji Fukutani this year, he may well have been a handy player to have. He has however just recently come back from injury and is getting in some bull-pen practice. We might see him in the first-team if Tanishige can sacrifice one of Viciedo, Hernandez, Norberto or Nanita.
Septimo, another Dominican, was brought in just earlier this month after some time spent training with the team. He’s only pitched one game so far for the farm team so we’re not sure just yet what he can offer. I’ve heard him described as a closer but he may well be a starter.
2-gun stats: 1 game, 1 IP, 2 SO, 0.00 ERA
(Stats correct as of the 23rd of June 2016)
Also, just as a note to you all, I have mentioned it on the twitter page, but I have been updating a lot of the DragonsWikipedia pages. A lot of pages are still stubs but I’m filling in information when I get the time. The best of my work so far is Shuhei Takahashi, Yudai Ono and Shinnosuke Ogasawara. Feel free to ch-ch-ch-check it out.