Japan Crowdsourcing Follow up Part Two – Your Picks

Two weeks ago, I asked you to suggest players who could do well in Japan, and you exceeded my expectations by coming up with 37 names. Here they are, with a few notes thrown in by me.

Guys I Also Picked

Dan Johnson, Rich Hill

Obviously these are excellent selections.

Guys Who Have Been There

Johnson, Mitch Jones, and Michael Restovich

Of these three, only Johnson was remotely successful in his first go-round in Japan. Jones and Restovich never got a sustained chance at the top level.

Likely MLB’ers

Daniel Nava, Melky Cabrera, Dana Eveland, Manny Delcarmen, Chad Gaudin, and Todd Wellemeyer

In my estimation, all these guys have been decent at the MLB level recently enough to warrant MLB opportunities, even the sub-replacement Melk Man.

Injury Question Marks

Dallas McPherson and Travis Buck

McPherson was at the top of my NPB list for a long time, but he’s just too injured at this point. Foreign players are usually short-term investments for NPB teams, and as such they avoid guys with injury histories.

MLB Fixer-Uppers

Jeff Suppan, Dontrelle Willis, and Jeff Weaver

The days of established MLB players moving to Japan for one last paycheck (a la Jesse Barfield in the early 90’s) are for the most part over. As such I don’t see these guys in Japan, but D-Train would be fun.

The Lost One

Elijah Dukes

I would love to see Dukes turn things around and become a Josh Hamilton-type story, but Japan is not the place for him to do that.


John Bowker, Jeff Larish, Micah HoffpauirShelley Duncan, Cory Sullivan, Jeremy Reed, Ryan Langerhans, Joey Gathright, and Bubba Bell

Nice call by commenter Michael, who picked Hoffpauir, as Nippon Ham is reportedly going after him already. Bowker and Duncan are good picks too, though I think Pittsburgh will give Bowker a chance after trading for him.

Corner Infielders

Mike Jacobs, Scott Thorman, Ryan Shealy, Josh Fields, Barbaro Canizares, and Jesus Guzman

With his MLB success, Jacobs could probably command a decent salary in Japan. There were no guesses for Chad Tracy, who is apparently headed to Hiroshima.

Middle Infielders

Brent Lillibridge and Mike McCoy

I must plead ignorance on these two guys. I didn’t mention Kevin Frandsen, but he was on my list last year.


Glen Perkins, Mike MacDougal, Billy Buckner, and Andrew Miller

I would guess that Buckner is the most likely of this group to wind up in Japan.

I gave you my list last week. As the offseason progresses, we’ll see which of these guys makes the journey across the Pacific.

Patrick Newman is a veteran enthusiast of Japanese baseball who happens to write about it at npbtracker.com, and on Twitter @npbtracker.

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13 years ago

Man, this is littered with ex-A’s…..and probably a future one or two.