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Masanori Fujihara taken off active roster with shoulder pains

by on Aug.28, 2010 @ 3:47 am, under NPB
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Masanori Fujihara (HAN) was taken off the active roster on Friday due to left shoulder pains.  Fujihara worked out at Naruohama on Friday, but did not play any catch.  He also received treatment for his shoulder.  The team will likely see how he feels over the next few days before deciding what to do with him.

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9 NPB teams could select Yusei Kikuchi, what about the other 3?

by on Oct.26, 2009 @ 1:13 pm, under NPB
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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

More updates:

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

...Other players the Yokohama Bay Stars like (after the first round): Toru Anan (P), Motoki Higa (P), and Shigeru Kaga (P).

...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.

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Hanshin Tigers Alternate First Pick: Masanori Fujihara

by on Oct.13, 2009 @ 12:15 pm, under NPB
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The Hanshin Tigers appear to have narrowed down their list of alternate first round picks to Masanori Fujihara out of Ristumeikan University.

Fujihara is a lefy hurler that tops out at 146km/h.  He also throws a curve, slider, and a fork.

Scout: He's got speed and movement on his pitches.  He also has a good pick-off move.  He can also change speeds when necessary.  I think he's a solid pitcher to have as an alternate first round pick.  What makes him attractive?  The fact that he can strike batters out.

A potential cause for concern: Fujihara was out with tightness in his left shoulder during the Spring League but is said to be fine now.  He's currently 3-1 in four games with a 1.38 ERA in the Kansai Big 6 Fall League.

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