>There really isnít a big enough sample size of players coming
>over from Japan to tell what he is going to do over here. As
>far as fantasy goes, Iíll try to pick him up as there isnít
>much to choose from anyways. He is supposed to be very
>durable, we shall see. This Mís fan is excited to see him
>play. We got absolutely nothing out of our 7 catchers last
>year so we should see an improvement.
Ichiro is clearly the Jackie Robinson for Japanese ball players.
Even *I* (a self-described, "liberal") could not fathom that Ichiro's success in Japan would even come close to translating here.
I was most definitely wrong.
As far as Kenji is concerned, where I see a potential drop is only in homeruns. Look at Tuffy Rhodes. That guy is hitting em out of the ballpark almost whenever he wants.
Still, I don't see a huge dropoff. Kenji hit 24 dingers last year in Japan. I am seeing a CERTAIN 15 (being conservative), with a .300+ batting average.
For a catcher, he has the potential to be in the fantasy top 3.
Ultimately, in my eyes, it will only depend on playing time. As a catcher, Kenji has the added difficulty of having to communicate with his pitchers.
If he cannot, Mike Hargrove is going to have an interesting decision.
According to ESPN, Everett and Ibanez will essentially be platooning at DH. I suppose, in the above scenario, Hargrove would have to fit Kenji in at the DH spot, as well.
That leaves Rene Rivera at catcher (and his 51 career major league ABs).