Everybody Loves Tadahito

Tadahito IguchiSays here we’ve been “dot-com” for 6 years now. Cool.

Anyway, I’m working on an interview with Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune (it’ll run on Monday), and one topic we discussed was potential surprises among Padres for 2008. The name that came up was new second baseman Tadahito Iguchi:

Iguchi had some problems with a finger injury early last year, and the White Sox were looking to save money. He’s a solid player, better than his stats of last summer would indicate.

When Lance and I visited Peoria a couple weeks ago, Iguchi kind of took us by surprise as well. Although he’s a compact guy, as I’ve mentioned previously, he really can drive the ball out to left and left-center. We’ll see how much of that is an artifact of the Arizona spring air, but after seeing Iguchi in person and talking to some folks, I’m starting to have a good feeling — in my usual guardedly optimistic way — about him.

The U-T, meanwhile, has a couple articles up about Iguchi. One talks about Iguchi’s childhood dreams to play in the North American big leagues, while the other focuses on his relationship with translator David Yamamoto.

Iguchi talks about coming to San Diego:

For me, it was very important to play in a city that would be right for my family. (Former Padre Akinori) Otsuka said San Diego is a good place.

My wife (Asumi) and daughter (Rio) moved into a home in San Diego in mid-February. My daughter is already in school. My family loves it there.

He also touches on the difference between spring training in Japan and on this side of the pond:

In Japan, spring is a military-style camp. It is a lot longer and every team has a goal . . . find a sense of unity. The whole team goes for early-morning walks and there are nightly meetings. The first two or three weeks, you work only on fundamentals.

The advantage of the American camps is that every facility has a lot of fields. Some players can be hitting while others are fielding. In Japan, there was only one field for each club.

Guess we’ll soon find out how justified our optimism is…

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110 Responses »

  1. It seems he’s more bad than good, but I really have no idea. He’s getting a free pass in the District because everyone knows they are in rebuilding mode, and Acta helped them over-achieve last season. And woo-hoo, a shiny new stadium, with about five parking spaces.

    But about half of their roster will again look like a minor league one.

  2. If Gerut had talent wouldn’t his minor league numbers look better?

    http://minors.baseball-reference.com/players.cgi?pid=5395

    Sure he took some walks in Double A but he didn’t have any power and wasn’t really that young. Outside of 2003 his numbers have been average at best. With that track record, his 2003 seems like a fluke more then anything else. Again, we’re not the Pirates. He might be better then McAnulty defensively but that’s not saying much.

    I guess it could be worse, we could have signed Juan Pierre or Gary Matthews Jr. to 5 year, $10m plus deals!

  3. Of course, as Headley as been down long enough to keep him from getting Super Two arbitration rights he’ll be the LF so it only matters for a few months anyway. I’m not sure that either McAnulty or Gerut really has any trade value so why bother showcasing them for a trade? I guess is that the hope is that one of them gets really hot and they are able to unload them to a team for a prospect.

  4. Bad typing skills above…I meant to say:

    “As soon as Headley has been down long enough….”

  5. 52: Well, let’s look at those. A career minor league OBP of 387 is awfully good, especially where he played. Headley, for comparison’s sake, has played in much better hitter’s leagues.

    He wasn’t old for a level before he got hurt, and after he came back from that 2001 injury he still wasn’t that old. Headley was older than him in High A and his first go at AA.

    I don’t think anybody is saying Gerut will be a great hitter, but he could be a good one.

  6. 47: Didn’t Gary Mathews Jr come up from the Padres organization?

  7. 52 … thanks for the link to Gerut’s minor league #s … the first thing I notice is the .387 OBP … and then the sub-1 K/BB ratio … looks like a hitter to me.

    53/54 … I think you are right on with the Padres keeping an eye on Headley’s service time clock … pushing his arbitration eligibility out a year is pretty valuable … especially if/when you think that Gerut and/or McAnulty can provide the same production to start this season …