Update [2007-3-21 14:9:22 by Eric Hz]: From Kevin Goldstein at BP:
Kevin Goldstein: Immediate success as a middle-of-the-order corner otufielder.
Here is a primer on next season's posting fee reform poster boy, Kosuke Fukudome. He is a 30-year centerfielder with the ratios that please the sabremetric community - .351/.438/.653 in 2006. I do find it curious that his walks dropped from 93 to 76 last season. (Sorry, I couldn't help nitpicking.)
Here is a brief professional biography from baseball-reference.com:
Jim Callis of Baseball America answered a question about him in his Friday "Ask BA" column. This is how he characterized Fukudome:
Devil Ray's 3B Akinori Iwamura will also provide some hints about how Fukudome may translate to MLB. Iwamura played in the Central League, too, and his sabre-line was .311/.389/.544. Fukudome's 2006 performance bettered Iwamura's across the board on the ratios. Iwamura hit 32 HRs which bested Fukudome by one. Where Fukudome surpassed Iwamura was in the doubles department, 47 vs 27.
I have even less experienced than those who are professionally tasked with scouting Japanese ballplayers, but that should not stop any of us from trying. There is a link to japanesebaseball.com under "Baseball Reference Sites" in the Links section. There is no reason you and I can't use Fake Teams as a way to keep track of Fukudome's progress, is there?