Sunday, August 3, 2014

Dragons Trade Kyohei Iwasaki to Orix for Taiki Mitsumata

In one the few trade deadline moves Chunichi sent Kyohei Iwasaki to Orix in exchange for Taiki Mitsumata.  I don't know a ton about Orix's roster, but I imagine this was a move to add a little depth to their middle infield as it doesn't appear to be a move that would improve Chunichi's playoff chances, at least for this season. 

Iwasaki is 28-years old and wasn't seeing much time with the ichi-gun team this year.  He had less than 100 plate appearance at ichi-gun in his career with the Dragons.  He's a bit of a light hitter and hasn't had much success as a hitter in his ni-gun career either, though he did have a fairly high OBP this year.  I'm sure Orix is looking to add him for his defense and hoping he'll at least be able to get on base at a reasonable rate.  I don't know if they are planning to use him much, maybe for late-inning defense.

Though this looks to be minor trade, Mitsumata could eventually turn out to be an interesting player.  He is only 22-years old and was a 2nd-round draft pick of the Buffaloes out high school in 2010.  So far he's been about a .230ish hitter in ni-gun and has had limited opportunities at ichi-gun.  He showed power in high school hitting double-digit home runs in his final year at Shutoku HS.  He's not likely to give Chunichi much this year, but he's young and still has time to improve.

For the time being I'm liking this trade.  I think Mitsumata has a chance to be a better player than Iwasaki is or will be and hopefully can be a future middle-infield piece for the Dragons.  Chunichi needs more middle-infield prospects, it's kind of a weakness right now as they've had to sign a foreigner to play shortstop, pretty uncommon, and have an aging second-baseman.  So far the prospects they have haven't stepped up and though Shuhei Takahashi is looking promising right now he's probably more of a corner infielder than a middle-infielder long-term.  This hopefully will end up being a trade that benefits both teams, Orix in the short-term and Chunichi in the long-term.

No comments: