So with 9 teams saying that they will likely select Yusei Kikuchi as their first pick in this year's draft, where does that leave the other three teams:
Hiroshima Carp - Takeru Imamura P
The team is looking for some starting help and Carp scouts feel that he might be good enough to start at Ichi-gun right way. He's got a fastball that tops out at 152km/h and can also throw a curve, slider, and cutter.
Imamura started in 6 games at Koshien, tossing 44 innings while striking out 47.
Note: The Softbank Hawks have also mentioned that they are interested in Imamura. If the Hawks decide they don't want to risk their pick on Kikuchi, they might decide to go with Imamura.
Yokohama Bay Stars - Yoshitomo Tsutsugo INF
He's a power bat that knocked out 69 home runs during his high school career. He's also coming out of Yokohama High School so he's something of a "homegrown" prospect.
Note: The Bay Stars have said that they will consider Kikuchi
Yomiuri Giants - Hisayoshi Chono OF
The Giants have been talking about selecting Hisayoshi Chono for quite some time. They even told Kikuchi that Chono was going to be their pick.
=== UPDATE: 10/27/2009 8:05am JST
The Yakult Swallows have indicated that they will still select Kikuchi with their first pick
The Chiba Lotte Marines have also indicated that Kikuchi is still their number 1. But they also have a list of other players in case they can't get Kikuchi. The list includes Toshiya Okada, Nobuaki Nakabayashi, Masanori Fujihara, Masato Nakazawa, and Shota Ohmine.
The Yokohama Bay Stars do appear to be heading towards selecting Yoshitomo Tsutsugo as their number 1.
The Nippon Ham Fighters are also high on Takayuki Makka.
=== UPDATE: 10/27/2009 12:06pm JST
...And Yuki Shimooki is fully prepared to play for Hitachi out of the Industrial League if he goes undrafted.
=== UPDATE: 10/28/2009 12:48am JST
...The Yokohama Bay Stars have confirmed that they will go with Tsutsugo as their number 1 pick. The Bay Stars like his power and the fact that he played for Yokohama High School.
...The Yakult Swallows continue to lean towards selecting Kikuchi with their first pick.
...Toshiya Okada is an alternate first round pick for the Hanshin Tigers and the Chiba Lotte Marines.
...And this Sponichi article mentions:
Nobuyoshi Yamada - Hanshin Tigers and Hiroshima Carp
Takumi Akiyama - Softbank Hawks and Hanshin Tigers
And that players like Shota Dobayashi, Kenta Imamiya, Takayuki Makka, Hiroyuki Kawahara, and Masato Kiyashiki will likely be selected early.