Japanese Baseball Analysis
Baseball in Japan is a national pastime. It fills stadium seats, and it plays a role in the country’s economy. It is a sport where team loyalty (wa) is paramount.
Shohei Ohtani fits this mold perfectly. He is a pitcher, pinch hitter, and DH. He hits the ball up the middle, and pulls it less often. coktv 25
The culture of Japanese baseball—or NPB, as it is called—focuses on teamwork and group effort. Players treat their teammates like family and show a lot of loyalty to their clubs. This differs from the American approach of rewarding individual skills and allowing players to move around freely to new teams for higher salaries and better facilities.
As a result, NPB has far less player transactions than MLB. The exception is when a star player wants to defect to the MLB, which has become more common in recent years as NPB stars have taken advantage of the “posting” system established within the last decade, which allows the league to collect compensation from MLB teams that sign its players.
This year’s Team Japan is loaded with talent, led by Ohtani, the best two-way player in the game. The infield features Munetaka Murakami, who hit 56 homers last season and is one of the most powerful hitters in NPB. The outfield includes Boston Red Sox prospect Masataka Yoshida, St. Louis Cardinals breakout candidate Lars Nootbaar, and others with a range of skill sets. k리그분석
Baseball is often referred to as America’s pastime, but the sport is actually quite popular in Japan. The Nippon Professional Baseball league, the country’s equivalent of Major League Baseball, has around 27 million fans – around 20% of the population.
Players see their team as family and are expected to show utmost loyalty and respect to the manager. If a player shows a lack of wa, he can be removed from the team.
While the sport is widely known for being a very competitive league, it also has many other aspects that make it unique. Players often face a lot of pressure from the media and fans to perform at a high level, and they have a very strict training regimen that can be hard for foreign players to adjust to. 일본야구분석
With Ichiro making the jump to MLB, and Japan having a good showing in this year’s World Baseball Classic, it’s clear that Japanese baseball isn’t going away any time soon. If more players make the jump, and the teams in NPB continue to improve, maybe someday they’ll be comparable to America’s teams.
In 1949, University of Tokyo baseball coach Horace Wilson brought over a group of American amateurs to help grow the game in Japan. Some call him the “Father of Japanese Baseball.” He was pretty upset by the militarism in Japan leading up to the war and he wasn’t too happy about Pearl Harbor, but he did what he could to rekindle that baseball bond. In 1950, he helped create the Nippon Professional Baseball league and put the Daiei Stars together. They took the name of the New York Giants as a sort of tribute to Lefty O’Doul, who had gotten them started in baseball.
Despite a recent influx of American players, high school baseball remains the heart and soul of Japanese baseball. Until recently, most teams relied on their ace pitcher to make it through prefectural and national tournaments.
When Shohei Otani threw his 156km/h (97mph) fastball during the televised semifinal match of Ichinoseki Gakuin and Hanamaki Higashi high schools, however, the entire baseball world in Japan was forced to take notice.
Okada, who had spent the majority of his career working on baseball stats for Nippon Television, was soon engulfed by the growing American sabermetric movement. He started absorbing James’ writings, as well as those of sites that carried the analytical torch online such as FanGraphs and Baseball Prospectus.
At the same time, Okada realized that the rules governing professional baseball in NPB made it difficult to implement many of these new ideas. This included the use of statistics and data, as well as a unique pitching style that relied on twisting and sinking in flight to create difficult-to-hit “shot” pitches.