Japanese Defensive Wizard Ryosuke Kikuchi Hopes To Interest MLB Clubs

WBC US Japan Baseball
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Ryosuke Kikuchi wants to play in the major leagues. It will be interesting to see if any MLB team will sign him.

The slick-fielding second baseman from Japan is going to have the opportunity to gauge interest on the American open market. Nippon Professional Baseball’s Hiroshima Carp has agreed to make Kikuchi available to MLB teams through the posting system

Kikuchi has won seven consecutive Golden Gloves in Japan. American scouts who have watched Kikuchi believe the defensive skills would transfer and he would immediately be a Gold Glove contender in the major leagues.

However, the 29-year-old’s offense is in question and some scouts believe major league pitchers would consistently overpower the lithe Kikuchi, who is 5-foot-7 and 152 pounds.

In eight seasons in Japan, Kikuchi has hit .271/.315/.391 with 85 home runs and 107 stolen bases. He had a .261/.313/.406 line this year while hitting 13 homers and stealing 14 bases.

Would a team value Kikuchi’s defense enough to overlook his middling offense? Time will tell but there are also many other second basemen available in free agency, a group that includes including Starling Castro, Brian Dozier, Howie Kendrick, Jason Kipnis and Jonathan Schoop.

Hiroshima can post Kikuchi anytime until Dec. 5. Kikuchi would be free to sign with any team and the Carp would be compensated by the signing club equal to 20 percent of his contract’s first $25 million along with 17.5 percent from $25 million-$50 million and 15 percent for anything over $50 million.

Meanwhile, the Yokohama DeNa BayStars plan to post left-handed hitting outfielder Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, who batted .272/.388/.511 with 24 home runs in 131 games this season. The 29-year-old has hit 205 homers in his 10-year career to go with a .284/.382/.511.

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Ryosuke Kikuchi wants to play in the major leagues. It will be interesting to see if any MLB team will sign him.

The slick-fielding second baseman from Japan is going to have the opportunity to gauge interest on the American open market. Nippon Professional Baseball’s Hiroshima Carp has agreed to make Kikuchi available to MLB teams through the posting system

Kikuchi has won seven consecutive Golden Gloves in Japan. American scouts who have watched Kikuchi believe the defensive skills would transfer and he would immediately be a Gold Glove contender in the major leagues.

However, the 29-year-old’s offense is in question and some scouts believe major league pitchers would consistently overpower the lithe Kikuchi, who is 5-foot-7 and 152 pounds.

In eight seasons in Japan, Kikuchi has hit .271/.315/.391 with 85 home runs and 107 stolen bases. He had a .261/.313/.406 line this year while hitting 13 homers and stealing 14 bases.

Would a team value Kikuchi’s defense enough to overlook his middling offense? Time will tell but there are also many other second basemen available in free agency, a group that includes including Starling Castro, Brian Dozier, Howie Kendrick, Jason Kipnis and Jonathan Schoop.

Hiroshima can post Kikuchi anytime until Dec. 5. Kikuchi would be free to sign with any team and the Carp would be compensated by the signing club equal to 20 percent of his contract’s first $25 million along with 17.5 percent from $25 million-$50 million and 15 percent for anything over $50 million.

Meanwhile, the Yokohama DeNa BayStars plan to post left-handed hitting outfielder Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, who batted .272/.388/.511 with 24 home runs in 131 games this season. The 29-year-old has hit 205 homers in his 10-year career to go with a .284/.382/.511.

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I have covered Major League Baseball regularly since 1988. I have also been a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America since '88, a Hall of Fame voter sinc

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