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Hayden Penn to Japan

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The Chiba Lotte Marines are closing in on a deal with Hayden Penn, a right-hander currently pitching in the Pirates' system, according to reports that Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker passes along.

Penn was always my favorite prospect from a few years ago and I've been rooting for him ever since. Good luck bro

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2010/07/odds-ends-workman-penn-prior.html

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I was just arguing with someone yesterday that Hayden Penn would never reach 200 IP in the major leagues. Obviously, he's still young, but I have to like my odds even more with this news.

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I was just arguing with someone yesterday that Hayden Penn would never reach 200 IP in the major leagues. Obviously, he's still young, but I have to like my odds even more with this news.

The Japanese leagues are major leagues.

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The Japanese leagues are major leagues.
Tanzania probably has major leagues too, that doesn't mean they are on par with ours.

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Tanzania probably has major leagues too, that doesn't mean they are on par with ours.

I mean it's not like Japan won the World Baseball Classic twice....

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I mean it's not like Japan won the World Baseball Classic twice....
They've also won the little league world series, what's your point?

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They've also won the little league world series, what's your point?

Exactly that...Their Major Leaguers beat our Major Leaguers, and apparently their little leaguers beat ours too...

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Exactly that...Their Major Leaguers beat our Major Leaguers, and apparently their little leaguers beat ours too...
I'm curious, take their best team and put it in the AL East for an entire season. What do you think their record would be?

There is a reason our washed up players go over there and become stars.

Mexico also beat us, are their major leagues better? How about Venezuela, Canada and South Korea?

What a horrible argument.

Edited by sangar

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I mean it's not like Japan won the World Baseball Classic twice....

There were also MLB players playing on Japan's team. There were no NPB players on the U.S. team. MLB is not comprised solely of American players, so that is not a very good comparison.

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I'm curious, take their best team and put it in the AL East for an entire season. What do you think their record would be?

I'd guess that they'd be roughly 75-87. A few years ago Clay Davenport ran his translation algorithms on players who'd played in both Japan and the US Majors and placed their level of difficulty about halfway between AAA and MLB. The Norfolk Tides, a .400-ish team in the IL, would likely be the worst team in Japan. The Orioles would probably be an 80-90 win team in Japan.

Put it this way, whoever the Japanese champ is, they would be better than the Orioles, or at least 6-8 other MLB teams.

There is a reason our washed up players go over there and become stars.

Yes, and the reason is that most of the players who go to Japan are good ballplayers. And good ballplayers often put up very good numbers when they take a half-step down in level of competition.

Japanese baseball takes a lot of criticism because players like Tuffy Rhodes go over there and become big stars. But almost no one brings up the dozens of counter-examples. Tony Batista went to Japan in 2005 and put up his typically awful .270/.290/.440 line over there, too. Leo Gomez peaked as a .750-.800 OPS guy in the majors, went to Chunichi and hit .267 with a .500 slugging percentage. Then there's this note from NPB tracker: "Oriz signed Freddie Bynum: Another spring training move, it looks like Bynum has lost out to Baldiris, and is buried so far down the foreign depth chart that it’s unlikely we’ll see much more of him this year."

And there's guys like Colby Lewis, who was kind of Hayden Penn-like in the majors, went to Japan, thrived, and is now back sporting a really nice overall record and a 3.33 ERA for the Rangers.

The Japanese leagues are good quality, almost certainly the 2nd-best professional league in the world. But not major league caliber.

Mexico also beat us, are their major leagues better? How about Venezuela, Canada and South Korea?

What a horrible argument.

It's not a good argument, but I wouldn't be so blunt about it. Short tournaments where some of the best players decline to play and some of the players aren't in midseason form are poor indicators of the quality of play in a country.

But let's not be so crazy about it. There are players in Japan who would be stars in the US. There are probably players in Korea and Taiwan and Mexico who could play in the majors. We no longer have a complete monopoly on good baseball.

I wish Hayden Penn luck. But I don't think he'll necessarily have an easy time in Japan. The leagues are good, the culture is different, the training is very different, and the expectations and standards are different. Many US players have been dumped out on their butts after short stays in Japan because they began their Japanese careers in a slump, or they didn't immediately take to the new environment.

Edited by DrungoHazewood

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Tanzania probably has major leagues too, that doesn't mean they are on par with ours.

Dude, Japan is Japan. Baseball is huge there. How about some of the Japanese players that wear MLB uniforms? How about Ichiro? He came ferom Japanese pro baseball.

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Dude, Japan is Japan. Baseball is huge there. How about some of the Japanese players that wear MLB uniforms? How about Ichiro? He came ferom Japanese pro baseball.

Dude, his implication was clear. Do you share his opinion that their major league is equal to ours?

Ichiro is undoubtedly a great player but what do you think Barry Bonds could have done to Japanese pitching?

Edited by sangar

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