KazMat’s Record

This Baseball Prospectus analysis from two years ago is still the only thing I’ve seen trying to give a systematic review of significant Japanese hitters and how their numbers would translate in the U.S. Clay Davenport estimates Kazuo Matsui’s 1997-2001 numbers as averaging out to .283/.543/.374 with 41 homers, 79 walks, and 119 strikeouts (interestingly, KazMat doesn’t steal bases despite a reputation for blinding speed).
Davenport’s translations seem to overproject Ichiro and Hideki Matsui, specifically their home run power (Tsuyoshi Shinjo comes in closer to his Japanese numbers). I’d expect the same from the new Matsui – maybe a .280 hitter with 20 homers instead of 40, especially at Shea.

2 thoughts on “KazMat’s Record”

  1. Jim Albright at The Baseball Guru looked into translating Japanese stats last season, and his estimates for the same 1997-2001 period are .294/.341/.440 with 12 HR and 47 BB.
    Also, Clay Davenport recently revised his translation system for Japanese players, and it would have projected .290/.375/.479 with 22 HR for Hideki Matsui in 2003 instead of the .290/.421/.567 with 32 HR, which is what the old system projected.
    Clay’s new projections say Kaz Matsui is like Orlando Cabrera, whereas the old system compared him to Derek Jeter.
    I took a look at all this at the raindrops, and as of this moment, I would say Kaz will put up .290/.350/.420 with 15 HR in 2003. Now if he’d only do that as a second basemen, I’d be happy.

  2. The numbers that you have listed here are for Nakamura, the power hitting 3rd baseman. The chart lists stats first, then the player. This made it confusing at first.

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