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6/12/1974 (42 y, 8 m, 10 d)
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Matsui will announce his retirement Thursday, Jack Curry of the YES Network reports. (12/27/2012)
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(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
The Yankees committed to Matsui as their primary designated hitter in 2009 and he rewarded them handsomely. He was able to focus on hitting rather than keeping his knees healthy and posted a .274/.367/.509 batting line with 28 home runs and 98 RBI. From a power perspective, it was the second-best season of his six-year Major League career. He finished with a slugging percentage (.509) that stands second only to his breakout 2004 season, when he rattled off a mark of .522. And his ISO hit an all-time high of .235. It was .224 when he blasted 31 homers, 34 doubles, and 108 RBI in 2004. As if the situation couldn’t get any rosier, he was also an unlucky hitter last season. His BABIP of .275 ranked among the lowest in the Majors and gives us reason to believe Godzilla has a few more productive seasons left in the tank.
The Year Ahead:
Matsui didn’t play a single game in the outfield last season, even during the interleague stretch of the calendar. His knees simply wouldn’t allow it last year, and they didn’t suddenly heal this winter. That limits the amount of playing time he’ll receive, but the Angels still have reason to like his production offensively and will dedicate most of the available designated hitting duties to him. If he manages to remain healthy for 120 or 130 games, another season of 25-plus home runs and 80-plus RBI is feasible. He’s still fairly disciplined at the plate and hasn’t made many changes to his contact-happy swing since arriving in the states. Another healthy season should again produce attractive fantasy results. (Drew Silva)
Perhaps the most frustrating thing about Hideki Matsui's 2010 season was that he only appeared in 18 games in left field. That means he's a designated hitter or utility player in most leagues and has lost most of his eligibility-based value. It's not like his bat is worth enough to roster him in shallow leagues these days -- the 36-year-old has settled in with above-average, but not great, power (.185 ISO last year, .190 career), good plate discipline (12% walk rate last year, 11% career), and a mediocre batting average (.274 two years in a row). The bat formerly known as Godzilla hasn't dropped off a ton -- his power has always oscillated somewhat wildly from year to year -- but unless he somehow adds another 100 plate appearances in Oakland, he just won't have enough home runs to be relevant in 12-team mixed leagues. In a league that is deeper that, though, he can help you in your utility spot late in the draft. (Eno Sarris)
The Quick Opinion:
He's a DH-only in most leagues and going to a ballpark where offense goes to die, but Godzilla still has a little bite left in his bat and will play in deeper leagues for another year.
After last year’s performance, it’s hard to see Matsui landing a full-time job anywhere, although the Yankees are rumored to be interested in a redux. If he does stay in the states, he probably won’t be playing often enough to warrant a draft pick. If Godzilla does find himself playing every day, he’ll be worth keeping an eye on in league-specific OBP league. (Zach Sanders)
The Quick Opinion:
Matsui is a veteran to keep an eye on should you need OBP league, but he isn’t someone you should be drafting.
Godzilla may never have lived up to the power ceiling indicated by his nickname, but he was a valuable major league outfielder and a class act throughout his ten-year career. Now he's done with the MLB, though, so make sure he's not in your draft lists. (Erik Hahmann)
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Updated: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 3:35 AM ET
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