...Yuki Saito tossed 7 innings and gave up a run on 4 hits against Meiji University for his 24th career college victory. The final score: Waseda 4 - Meiji 2
Final line: 7 IP, 105 NP, 29 BF, 5 H, 7 K, 2 BB, 1 ER
...The Seibu Lions added Yusei Kikuchi to their list of 50 potential draft prospects.
...Glen Barker (Astros scout for the Pacific Rim) mentioned at Chan Jong Moon's signing that the Houston Astros would look into Kikuchi if he decided to try out for the Majors. Barker also said that there would probably be 6-7 clubs interested in his services.
The Astros haven't scouted Kikuchi up to this point, but it appears likely that they will take a look at him during the upcoming National Athletic Tournament.
...This Sponichi article also mentions a couple of interesting points:
- NPB clubs may be will to risk a draft pick by taking Kikuchi even if he declares his desire to try out for the Majors. Many clubs gave up on Junichi Tazawa last season, but many feel that Kikuchi is a different case and warrants the risk.
- Kikuchi's high school baseball manager, Sasaki, has mentioned methods in which players are brought up as being important. Here are some of the arguments as presented by people involved.
Isao Ojimi (NY Mets scout): There are pitch count and innining limits in the Majors. There is also a deep minor league system that gives players a chance to grow at their own pace. And unlike Japan, teams won't overwork players.
Toshimasa Shimada (Fighters Supervisor): It seems like the Majors just put players through a filter. Body care, practice... It doesn't seem like they have any trainers or coaches that will provide leadership and guidance.
Tsutomu Ito (WBC coach): One of the things Japanese pitchers can take pride in is their control. This skill is best developed using Japan's approach.
- The Japan High School Baseball Federation is taking a somewhat laid-back approach to Kikuchi's possible departure from Japan in the Majors. They have said there's nothing wrong with giving their players a wide list of options to choose from and that ultimately, it's up to the player and the player's family to decide what's best.
The NPB isn't feeling quite as open easy about the situation and is trying to figure out what can be done stop players from going to the Majors.