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Minnesota Twins in contact with Tsuyoshi Nishioka’s agent

by on Dec.01, 2010 @ 11:40 am, under MLB, NPB

Nikkan Sports mentions two US reports on Tsuyoshi Nishioka.

The first, an article by the Star Tribune's Joe Christensen that states "[a] spokesman for the Beverly Hills Sports Council said Monday that the Twins have been in touch with Nishioka's agent, Rick Thurman."

The second, an article by CBS Sports' Scott Miller.  A snip:

But this deal, if the Twins pull it off (and indications are that they will), makes them better. It adds versatility to their lineup and adds speed up the middle. Both are very good things.

"He's a good player, and we'd like to have him," says Twins general manager Bill Smith, who is mostly keeping mum about Nishioka because, until Minnesota strikes a deal, the infielder remains property of the Chiba Lotte Marines. "He's a switch-hitter, he can play shortstop or second base, he can run ... he could be a good fit."

There's also a quote from a director of international scouting at a rival club:

"He's a good athlete... He has very good tools. He's a young guy who, the last three, four, five years, the Japanese people would get on him because he was all about ability, and he was a little flashy for Japan.

"But he's toned his act down, and he's matured... He was the wonder boy, the golden boy, who when he first came up never lived up to expectations.

"He's got good feet and nice range, and his bat has improved a lot. I'm not saying he's going to be Ozzie Smith or Omar Vizquel, but when a guy can play shortstop, run the bases and gets enough at-bats so that he learns how to hit."