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Kosuke Fukudome

With another month in the books, it is time to check-in on Japanese free agent-to-be Kosuke Fukudome. He looks to have settled in the 900+ OPS range with a strong OBP. His strikeouts seem high and that would concern me in the translation to the majors.

However, that is not a concern for others. Nate Silver of Baseball Prospectus answers a query in his last chat:

James282 (east windsor): Hey Nate - I noticed in your White Sox article that you thought Kusoko Fukudome was a good option for them as a corner OF next year. I know next to nothing about this guy, have any estimates as to what his ceiling or 50th percentile projection would be?

Nate Silver: I don't have the numbers in front of me, but IIRC, Fukudome had one of the highest EqAs in professional baseball last year -- any league, any country. His raw numbers were .351/.438/.653. Worst case, he's the next Hideki Matsui.

With the success of Akinori Iwamure in Tampa Bay and that of Silver's comp, Hideki Matsui, Fukudome is going to get a lot of positive hype. There has been nothing to dissuade me of that postion since I first started tracking him on Fake Teams in mid/late-March. If anything, the momentum is growing as more and more baseball fanatics become interested. Note this blurb in ESPN writer Jerry Crasnick's latest The Starting 9:

Kosuke Fukudome, Chunichi Dragons: Add this five-tool Japanese star to the outfield surplus. Best of all, there's no posting fee.
Season As OF BA RISP G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB SF BB HBP K E OBP Slug
7/4/2007 0.292 0.305 71 243 57 71 19 0 13 45 5 4 58 6 61 3 0.434 0.531
5/29/2007 0.285 0.304 51 172 42 49 14 0 9 35 1 3 46 5 47 2 0.442 0.523
4/26/2007 0.358 0.438 23 81 20 29 6 0 7 20 1 2 17 2 18 1 0.471 0.691
4/16/2007 0.326 0.500 14 46 10 15 4 0 2 9 0 2 9 2 10 0 0.441 0.543
Perf Since Last Update BA RISP G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB SF BB HBP K E OBP Slug
Diff 0.310 n/a 20 71 15 22 5 0 4 10 4 1 12 1 14 1 0.412 0.549