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  1. What on earth happened to the offense during the 2011 Japanese PCL season?

    Comment by tacoman — May 31, 2012 @ 11:20 am

  2. It’s worth noting that FI wOBA currently undervalues Aoki by as much as 20 points of wOBA. That’s a HUGE gap, but it assumes that Aoki will continue to hit triples at his presently outstanding rate.

    He’s currently hitting triples at a 2.86% rate — good for fifth best in the league (min. 100 PA).

    http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=100&type=0&season=2012&month=0&season1=2012&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&players=0

    Comment by Bradley Woodrum — May 31, 2012 @ 11:21 am

  3. They instituted a new league-wide baseball. In the past, each home team had their own ball, but the new ball was — if I recall correctly — slightly smaller than the MLB standard baseball and considered more slick.

    Comment by Bradley Woodrum — May 31, 2012 @ 11:22 am

  4. It was designed to imitate the MLB ball, which is used in international tourneys like the WBC. The smaller, slicker one was one of the more common ones used before the switch…at least from what I read. I’m interested to see if this switch leads to being able to make more accurate predictions about NPB players before they come over to MLB.

    Here’s an article about it: http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201106240282.html

    I think there was also a pretty good one in the NY Times or Japan Times, but I can’t find the link now.

    Comment by Nate — May 31, 2012 @ 11:54 am

  5. Mr. Woodrum: Aoki stayed in Japan’s CENTRAL LEAGUE his whole career before posted. Where did that Pacific Coast league come from? I know you might like your Matsuzaka (Seibu, PL), Okajima (lastly stayed in the J-Ham, PL, but he had most of his career at Yomiuri, CL), and our cute Persian (Darvish from J-Ham, a.k.a. Nippon Ham), but there’s no such league as “Pacific Coast.”

    It’s simply: Pacific League. No coast. Unless you were coasting with rum and stayed in the woods too long, wikipedia could be helpful:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_League

    Sorry for the humor. I could not resist. But I’m kinda sick and tired of baseball ignorance dealing with foreign leagues and international tournaments. There are proper ways to call them, the least we can do as Major League fans.

    Comment by BillyF — May 31, 2012 @ 11:57 am

  6. I haven’t been overly impressed by Aoki’s defense. From what I’ve seen, he doesn’t have very good speed in the outfield though he seems to take pretty good routes. The downgrade from Gomez to Aoki in CF is pretty large.

    It makes a whole lot of sense to just slide Hart to 1B, play Aoki in RF and then split the CF gig between Morgan and Gomez. They’ve toyed with that option against LHP (I’ve heard repeatedly that Aoki hits LHP very well).

    Comment by funketown — May 31, 2012 @ 11:57 am

  7. The Nationals should be kicking themselves.

    Comment by Well-Beered Englishman — May 31, 2012 @ 12:05 pm

  8. Whoa, geez. Oversight on my part. I’ll go ahead and fix it so that you don’t have to be “humorous” anymore.

    Comment by Bradley Woodrum — May 31, 2012 @ 12:10 pm

  9. He hits very well against lefties and with Hart doing a good job at 1B and T-Plush starting to hit a bit, I see RF becoming his predominant home for the near future.

    It has been nice to see base runners in front of Braun in the 1st inning, as opposed to April-early May when it was always zero on, 2 out when Braun hit the dish in the first inning.

    Comment by Cecil Cooper's Twin — May 31, 2012 @ 12:45 pm

  10. i’m not sure ‘humor’ means what you think it does

    Comment by Sooted72 — May 31, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

  11. In Japanese baseball, data analyze you! What a country!

    Comment by Japanese Yakov Smirnoff — May 31, 2012 @ 12:54 pm

  12. Gomez is a really good defensive CF, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that there is a dropoff is Aoki plays there. But I definately think that Aoki should be getting all the playing time ahead of Morgan (if there needs to be a choice between the two).

    Comment by Bob — May 31, 2012 @ 1:07 pm

  13. Absolutely. Even given that they thought that they had outfield depth (with Morse and Werth presumably healthy), there is utterly no reason to have a team having to choose among Ankiel, Bernadina and Nady for one of their starters.

    In the “better to be lucky than good” department, though, it’s quite possible that if they had picked up Aoki they would have kept Harper in AAA longer, until he “mastered the level.” Considering that Harper has been one of their primary offensive threats since he came up, it may have worked out OK for the team. But I was on the Aoki bandwagon when he was available, and was disappointed when the Nats didn’t make a play for him.

    Comment by John C. — May 31, 2012 @ 1:15 pm

  14. Hey Rockies, watch me pull a rabbit out of this hat… naw, seriously, Rockies, would you like something for that Aoki you’re not using? The Mariners would LOVE to have a set-it-and-forget-it left fielder.

    Getting tired of the rotating cast of guys like…

    – Wells (underappreciated and not given a shot, like Aoki apparently)
    – Carp (hitting potential, decent arm, slow legs)
    – Liddi (playing out of position because Mariners, decent arm and bat, fields like a bus)
    – Figgins (UGH)
    – Peguero (Guerrero power, Guerrero strike zone, Olivo contact… fielding routes like Billy from Family circus).

    And hey, one more dino-buddy for Ichiro to go along with Kawasaki might make for a nice sendoff, in the event that this season ends up being the Ichiro farewell tour.

    Comment by Snowblind — May 31, 2012 @ 1:40 pm

  15. CHRIST this board needs an edit feature. To go with smarter commenters. Starting with me.

    Brewers! Brewers! Not Rockies.

    Bah, I’m an idiot.

    Comment by Snowblind — May 31, 2012 @ 1:41 pm

  16. i think he will be getting more playing time as he proves he can hit in just about any situation. the biggest issue is that Hart has said he doesnt want to play 1B, but has said he’ll be helpful if needed there, so sticking him there fulltime going forward is doubtful to happen

    Comment by robby — May 31, 2012 @ 2:22 pm

  17. It was obviously just a mix up with the minor AAA Pacific Coast League. You come off less humorours and more mean than anything.

    Comment by Ben — May 31, 2012 @ 2:55 pm

  18. On the scale of what passes for both humor and (especially) mean-ness in FG comments, this is pretty minor AAA PCL stuff.

    Comment by joser — May 31, 2012 @ 3:05 pm

  19. “also dude, Pacific Coast League is not the preferred nomenclature, Pacific League, please”

    Comment by thouston — May 31, 2012 @ 3:16 pm

  20. Aoki will not play center field. Only RF or LF (if necessary).

    Comment by jerbear1985 — May 31, 2012 @ 3:36 pm

  21. Prediction: More doubles, lower BABIP, miniature american flags for all!

    Comment by mike — May 31, 2012 @ 5:29 pm

  22. Aoki has made 9 starts in CF this year

    Comment by Dustin — May 31, 2012 @ 6:31 pm

  23. Looks like your supporters are not throwing enough “red flags” with 9 minuses. I guess fangraphs still welcome other fans with an opinion but not agreeing you columnists’~
    >:-D

    Comment by BillyF — June 1, 2012 @ 4:48 am

  24. Minor? Then why are you responding me? I won’t call USA “Canada,” although they are both occupying a large portion of North America. One thing I found out about fangraphs posters and some columnists is that you guys go one direction and never looked the other hard enough. When you consider performance in Japanese baseball, and “translate” them to American ball, you lack the context. Darvish never walked more than 3 per nine inning his career in PL, why he overloaded the bases here? Iguchi was almost retiring his last days with the Phillies, but he had a resurgence in PL, known to be a pitchers-league in the past.

    Things change when players cross the Pacific. The Way of Thinking must change with them.

    Comment by BillyF — June 1, 2012 @ 4:56 am

  25. And you will fail to see the context if you refuse to identify them correctly. It’s important to name USA as USA, not another country beside Canada. Japanese ball is not AAA ball, I thought educated fans on fangraphs had past that stage of ignorance already.

    Comment by BillyF — June 1, 2012 @ 4:57 am

  26. Mr. Wood-rum, please also read my reply to “joser” below. It’s IMPORTANT to know the league when you are bringing up their numbers. You have no excuse to make repeated mistakes.

    Comment by BillyF — June 1, 2012 @ 4:59 am

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