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Thread: Olney: Evaluators say Nishioka looks "lost" this spring

  1. #21
    Owner Big-Leaguer Parker Hageman's Avatar
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    If I remember correctly, no one on the Twins' staff actually saw him play in person. It was all on 'word of mouth' and the video presentations..... (I'll dig around and see if I can find the reference that said that)
    One of the Twins scouts, Cary Broder, was actively involved in scouting Nishioka during his NPB days:

    And of course, the Twins recently added middle infielder Nishioka Tsuyoshi [SP] to the big club, and I’m proud to have been actively involved with that process. He was the MVP of the Japanese league last year and It’s exciting to be a part of bringing our first Japanese pro player to the Twins.

  2. #22
    Super Moderator MVP ashburyjohn's Avatar
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    I seem to recall early in 2011 that Gardy commented, on trying to get Nishi going, that they had film of him doing well in Japan but no film of when he did poorly, making it hard to offer advice. I definitely chose to read frustration with the scouting, on that one.

  3. #23
    Senior Member Triple-A
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    "Most likely scouts or front office people. Buster Olney is a veteran national reporter, I doubt he uses "bloggers who like to watch spring training" as sources."

    Maybe you are right, Nick. Still, why use something rather vague like talent evaluator instead of saying where you got the information. This whole thing with Nishioka kind of seems like piling on. I am not so sure he is really playing all that badly this spring. We will see, but I rather expect he will make the team, get some chances and largely play OK. What seems sure, is that every time he makes an error, real or imagined, somebody will complain about what a huge mistake it was to sign him.

  4. #24
    Owner MVP Seth Stohs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB (the Original) View Post
    If I remember correctly, no one on the Twins' staff actually saw him play in person. It was all on 'word of mouth' and the video presentations..... (I'll dig around and see if I can find the reference that said that)
    The Twins scouted him a lot. They have a couple of people in the Far East who likely saw him several times, and Howard Norsetter is the guy that likely has to sign off on this. Norsetter is very well respected around the world and in the game. He would have seen him as well. And, it's not like the Twins were the only team to bid on him. It's hard to believe that a guy who hit .360 in a league that is pretty good could fall that bad. I can't help but think he's a little better than what we're seeing. The frustating part is that he is making so many boneheaded plays. That's the "doesn't know the game" kind of stuff that's shocking.

  5. #25
    Senior Member All-Star
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    I still remember Gardy saying he had never seen him on video before he was in spring training last year. Mind blowing.
    Lighten up Francis....

  6. #26
    Senior Member Triple-A gil4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highabove View Post
    If the Twins would have used a few of the Bloggers, they might have saved their money.
    And spent it on Hardy instead.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Triple-A Teflon's Avatar
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    I'm sure one reason the Twins didn't venture into signing Japanese stars until the revenue boon from Target Field was simply the expense. While Nishioka's 3 million per year salary doesn't seem exorbitant for a player envisioned to be an everyday starter, (especially considering the Twins had just paid Nick Punto $4 million per year) the Twins additionally paid a $5.3 million dollar posting fee to his Chiba Lotte team for the rights to sign him. That makes the Twins lack of effort in fully vetting Nishioka all the more mystifying.
    Last edited by Teflon; 03-17-2012 at 09:40 PM.

  8. #28
    Senior Member Double-A Neinstein's Avatar
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    Seriously, he needs an entourage with him at all times in Rochester to simply get him back to where he was a couple years ago.
    This year needs to end well for him, otherwise the money was not well spent. Maybe he'll learn a thing or two from B.D. & co.
    "You teach me baseball and I'll teach you relativity. No, we must not. You will learn about relativity faster than I learn baseball." ​Albert Einstein

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
    The Twins scouted him a lot. They have a couple of people in the Far East who likely saw him several times, and Howard Norsetter is the guy that likely has to sign off on this. Norsetter is very well respected around the world and in the game. He would have seen him as well. And, it's not like the Twins were the only team to bid on him. It's hard to believe that a guy who hit .360 in a league that is pretty good could fall that bad. I can't help but think he's a little better than what we're seeing. The frustating part is that he is making so many boneheaded plays. That's the "doesn't know the game" kind of stuff that's shocking.
    While Nishioka is obviously a failure of epic proportions, I really think that some aspects of it are so surprising that the Twins can't be blamed for the entirety of how bad it turned out. We've seen Japanese pitchers come over and be overmatched. We've seen hitters come over with promise big power numbers, only to find out that the larger ballparks and better talent actually does make it harder. I don't think anyone would've been stunned if Nishioka played a full season hitting .260 with 0 HR's and 35 RBI's.

    What was stunning to me was the horrible defense and fundamentals, which were the LAST things anyone would have expected out of a Japanese player who had been extremely successful overseas. There is something fundamentally broken about this guy's psyche. The game looks like it's moving at 150% speed to this guy, but that can't be true. I heard people last April saying things like he needs to "adjust to the speed of the game", but is that really true? Japanese hitters probably put the ball on the ground MORE often on artificial turf surfaces, and the average hitter is probably FASTER down the the first base line than in the MLB (smaller players, different style). There was no way to know that routine groundballs would eat this guy up with regularity.

    I think everyone knew there was a better than 50% chance this guy would be a bust or disappointment, but "bust" was defined as "Japanese version of Nick Punto". His defense is what has really run him out of the league so quickly, and I can't believe that even if they saw him play extensively in Japan that he was ever making mistakes there like he did here.

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