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. re: draft. It’s stupid for the Padres to follow the ‘suggested’ slotting system. There should either a slotting system that everybody follow or there isn’t one.

    91: I believe Batt Mush was in the Top 10 by Baseball America that year. I could be wrong. Did I suggest that the Padres should have picked him? No, nobody cares what I think. But to keep saying that the Padres should have picked Verlander instead of Batt Mush is moot point. Heck, the team wasn’t even looking at him. It was either Weaver or Drew. And the organization has admitted that mistake as much. The Padres are getting better at drafting but either not at a place yet to gamble on a couple of those or the system is still incomplete.

    As to the pick between Porcello and Schmidt, the value perceived is that Porcello should be more valuable now. Yes, that’s in trade value as of today with Schmidt after surgery even more so. What kind of performance we’ll never know in the ML. Heck, Dennis Tankersley was considered a top prospect once also and yet, the Padres got him for Ed Sprague.

    I don’t think any GMs in the ML will ever feel they need to not trade for fears of getting ripped off. It’s not like KT is winning every trade he made, nor Billy Beane for that matter. One can use that fear to make sure the other team hold onto the lesser talents by just offering a trade. It’s illogical. The best they can do is go back and forth until all parties feel that the trades beneficial to all.

  2. BTW, I wish Belmont had beaten Duke. And Michael Beasley is beastly in that game. Wow.

  3. Jody Gerut is fast becoming my favorite Padre that was at one time waived by another team.

  4. Jail P-Mac!

  5. They went cheap for Matt Bush and got burned. Sometimes that works (Braves taking Chipper over Todd Van Poppel) but most likely it doesn’t — you get what you pay for. If Moores (or whoever) wouldn’t have been so cheap that year and taken Jared Weaver he’d have a lot more money now, weird the way that works out isn’t it?

    As far as slotting goes, it’s not enforced so why would you bother to follow it? If you ignore slotting you get a huge advantage over those team that do follow it. Shouldn’t you take advantage when you can? Unless you’d rather save a few bucks (which totally burned them last time time they did it). And since Petco is the best (by far) pitchers park in the major leagues, shouldn’t pitchers want to come here? If the Padres were smart (and no one here thinks that KT and SA are stupid) they should be able to use that to their advantage and get the top amateur pitchers. Again, shouldn’t you use your advantages?

  6. Chase Headley is a stud! He just tied up the game in the bottom of the 9th with a 2-run bomb to LFC, and he was pumped!

  7. Fascinating reading catching up on a few days’ worth of comments. Loved the discussion re: Padres and attendance. Lots of good stuff there. Though I’m often a glass half-empty guy when it comes to the team, with attendance I’m the opposite. Just don’t see a problem. For the size of the city and the variety of entertainment options that entice us every day in this part of the world, I think they do as well as can be expected at the gate. Only a WS appearance will push them up a notch.

    As for tonight’s discussion, Hanley’s a stud. If he could be had and signed to a long-term deal, I’d give up Headley and Latos in a heartbeat. I’d throw in Antonelli or any other player on the roster other than Jake, CY, or Adrian, too, if need be. Really, maybe I should trim that list to just Peavy.

  8. Re: Jody Gerut. One of my reasons for optimism on him was his incredible .332 translated EQA (that’s a major league equivalent line) in the Venezuelan winter league this year in 165 PA. According to Clay Davenport, the league ranked slightly under AAA in terms of quality.

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=7134 (subscription required)

    You people are crazy if you wouldn’t trade Headley, Antonelli, and Latos for Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez is awesome and is under team control for 4 more years. Don’t like his defense at short, switch him to center where his athleticism and speed would make him a natural.

  9. Getting back to GY’s original post … Iguchi with 2 E’s tonight … 1 fielding and 1 throwing, according to this box score … http://mlb.mlb.com/news/boxscore.jsp?gid=2008_03_20_seamlb_sdnmlb_1 … and 0-for-3 with 2 K’s … so … a tough night for Tadahito … whassup with that?

  10. 109: He got hosed on some strike calls in his ABs.