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Kenshin Kawakami – some quick stats

by on Nov.19, 2008 @ 10:09 pm, under NPB

Mike posted Kawakami's k/9 over the last few years in a blog comment and I thought I'd throw up a few more interesting numbers.

whip	bb/9	so/9	hr/9	bf/app	bf/inn	inn/g
1.08 	2.8 	6.9 	0.8 	24.96 	4.02 	6.21
1.33 	2.4 	5.7 	1.1 	23.97 	4.29 	5.59
1.41 	3.0 	3.6 	1.5 	18.57 	4.31 	4.31
1.30 	2.2 	7.9 	0.7 	23.38 	4.19 	5.58
1.09 	1.6 	7.1 	0.6 	28.15 	4.05 	6.95
1.38 	2.3 	6.2 	0.3 	29.25 	4.36 	6.71
1.10 	1.8 	8.2 	1.3 	28.67 	4.02 	7.12
1.19 	1.4 	6.9 	1.0 	29.52 	4.09 	7.21
0.95 	1.6 	8.1 	0.9 	29.00 	3.91 	7.41
1.18 	1.2 	7.8 	1.0 	26.77 	4.16 	6.44
1.06 	1.9 	8.6 	0.8 	23.65 	4.03 	5.87

There are numbers from his very first year to 2008. If I'm an MLB team, one of my biggest concerns would be stamina. Based on his numbers, there's no doubt that he has good stuff and control (high k/9, low bb/9, low WHIP). But at 33 (turns 34 in June 2009), it would seem that his stamina will only continue to drop. Because of this, IMHO, he's a back-end rotation kind of guy in the Majors... Maybe middle of the rotation, at best.

I've also read a few articles that have compared Kawakami to Kuroda, and while do believe that's a fair comparison, I'm of the belief that while Kuroda's stuff may not be quite as good as Kawakami's, he probably has an advantage in conditioning.

whip	bb/9	so/9	hr/9	bf/app	bf/inn	inn/g
1.56 	4.2 	4.3 	1.1 	26.13 	4.45 	5.87
1.71 	4.8 	5.0 	1.0 	11.06 	4.42 	2.50
1.65 	4.0 	5.6 	2.1 	19.33 	4.63 	4.17
1.44 	3.8 	7.3 	1.3 	21.48 	4.33 	4.97
1.16 	2.1 	6.9 	0.9 	29.11 	4.14 	7.04
1.22 	1.9 	7.9 	0.9 	29.17 	4.08 	7.14
1.18 	2.0 	6.0 	0.8 	29.54 	4.02 	7.35
1.47 	1.8 	8.4 	1.0 	30.43 	4.35 	7.00
1.06 	1.8 	7.0 	0.7 	29.38 	4.01 	7.33
1.00 	1.0 	6.8 	0.6 	28.62 	3.93 	7.28
1.21 	2.1 	6.2 	1.0 	28.38 	4.11 	6.91

Those are Kuroda's numbers over his career: higher WHIP, more walks, and fewer strike outs, but tends to go deeper into games than Kawakami. Kuroda also averaged 6.7 CGs per season, more than the 2.6 Kawakami averages. And if you take a three year, the difference is even larger: between 2005 and 2007, Kuroda averaged 8.3 CGs compared to Kawakami's 2.3 between 2006 and 2008.

Kawakami could also be an interesting middle relief option.

Kawakami
Pitches: Fastball (low 90s), cutter (mid 80s), slow curve (60s), shuto, fork
Interesting Nickname: Ippatsuya (一発病) - for giving up HRs in key situations
Top Speed: ~94mph in 2003

Kuroda
Fastball (low to mid 90s), fork (mid 80s), slider (low to mid 80s), shuto (low 90s)
Interesting Nickname: Mr. Kantou (ミスター完投) - for racking up a lot of CGs
Top Speed: ~97mph in ??

Sources:
Japan Wikipedia - Kenshin Kawakami Hiroki Kuroda

0 comments on “Kenshin Kawakami – some quick stats

  1. knucklehead7
    Quote:

    Kawakami could also be an interesting middle relief option.

    If he is willing to accept this role, I think he could carve out a good niche for himself in the bullpen.

  2. Gwynar

    I think this will be a key for both Kawakami and Uehara — they could be attractive to more teams if they go the middle relief route. It’s not as sexy as saying that you’re a starter, but look at how important Okajima has become for the Red Sox.