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OnBaseMachine
03-07-2007, 07:58 PM
Reds lag behind in signing Asians
Organization takes steps to catch up

By C. Trent Rosecrans
Post staff reporter

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - As manager of the Reds, Jerry Narron doesn't get much of a chance to practice his Asian calligraphy.

At last year's All-Star Game, Narron served as a coach for the National League and when filling out the lineup card, he wrote Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki's name in Japanese kanji.

Narron started writing lineup cards in calligraphy - in English - as the bench coach under manager Johnny Oates in Texas.

When the Asian influence became more and more prominent in Major League Baseball, Narron started writing Japanese and Korean names in those languages.

"I started doing it out of respect for Ichiro," Narron said.

Narron filled out the lineup cards as bench coach, but now that he's the manager, that task is left to third base coach Mark Berry.

It's a good thing Berry doesn't follow Narron's lead, or he would have had to do a lot of homework for Tuesday's game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Progress Energy Park in St. Petersburg. The Devil Rays have two Japanese players (third baseman Akinori Iwamura and pitcher Shinji Mori) and three Korean players (first baseman Hee-Seop Choi and pitchers Jae Seo and Jae Kuk Ryu).

The Reds don't have any Asian players on their team or even in their system.

That could be changing in the future.

"We're going to try to make a dent in it and get established so we can be more competitive over there than we have been," Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky said.

This off-season, the Reds hired former Dodgers scout Jim Stoeckel as their director of international operations, scouting Asia, Australia and Europe.

The Devil Rays aren't the only team feeling what their manager Joe Maddon refers to as "Asian fusion."

The Red Sox infamously signed Japanese right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka this off-season. In a less ceremonious action, Boston also signed left-hander Hideki Okajima. The New York Yankees signed left-hander Kei Igawa, a 14-game winner for the Hanshin Tigers last season.

On Sunday the Reds saw Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Masumi Kuwata, a legendary pitcher in Japan who is finishing his career in the United States. Kuwata struck out two of the three Reds he faced in his only inning of work.

The Devil Rays' Iwamura joins Ichiro and the Yankees' Hideki Matsui among the growing number of Japanese position players in the majors.

"I don't know if it'll happen each year, but if you look at the status of Japanese baseball in the world, it's getting higher and higher because of the World Baseball Classic," Iwamura said through his translator Masa Koyanagi. "The Japanese players can play here, but they may choose to stay in Japan. Some may take pride in staying in Japan. But I don't know if that will happen."

With the money offered for Matsuzaka, it may be too much for the Japanese leagues to pass up. Like how the Negro Leagues slowly died after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier, the Japanese Central and Pacific Leagues have struggled after the Japanese invasion to the United States began with Hideo Nomo in 1995 and then Ichiro in 2001.

Although Iwamura said Ichiro's success didn't factor into his desire to play in the major leagues, he did say 2001 was the year he started to think about coming to America.

"Little kids now may dream of playing in the major leagues instead of playing for the Tokyo Giants," said Iwamura, who was 0-for-1 with a walk against the Reds on Tuesday and is still looking for his first hit of the spring. "But as a former Japanese professional baseball player, I think the kids will want to play in Japan first instead of going straight to the major leagues."

The next wave of players may include Kazumi Saito of the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, whom many considered the best pitcher in Japan last season. Saito posted a 18-5 record and a 1.75 ERA last season. If Matsuzaka succeeds in Boston, the bidding for Saito could go even higher next season.

Teams like the Reds may look to do more scouting and develop younger players instead of joining the growing bidding wars.

There are younger players, such as college star Yuki Saito of Waseda University, who pitched four complete games in four days (including a 15-innning tie) to lead his high school team to the national title and then turned down large pro contracts to pitch in college. He will be a free agent when he graduates in 2010.

The Reds' last Asian player was Jung Keon Bong. The Reds acquired Bong in the 2004 trade with Atlanta for Chris Reitsma. Bong started three games for the Reds, but had shoulder surgery causing him to miss the entire 2005 season. And before last season Bong asked the Reds for his release to return to Korea for family reasons.

For now, the Reds are looking, and looking intently at Asia for talent.

"It's pretty obvious, it's another market where you can potentially sign players," Krivsky said. "It's another resource for players. We want to look at every avenue to get good players."

http://news.cincypost.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070307/SPT05/703070328/1027

Tom Servo
03-07-2007, 08:02 PM
The Reds' last Asian player was Jung Keon Bong. The Reds acquired Bong in the 2004 trade with Atlanta for Chris Reitsma. Bong started three games for the Reds, but had shoulder surgery causing him to miss the entire 2005 season. And before last season Bong asked the Reds for his release to return to Korea for family reasons.
C. Trent forgetting about last year's season changing acquisition of Sun-Woo Kim?

smith288
03-08-2007, 04:00 PM
Here is my big response...

So?

I hate race based quotas as if its an indictment against the Reds somehow. Geesh.

If the guy is good enough and is willing to sign, then the Reds will get him. If not, then so be it. I would hate to sign inferior asians just because some dude out there or the Reds themselves has some sort of race guilt issue.

zombie-a-go-go
03-08-2007, 04:07 PM
Here is my big response...

So?

I hate race based quotas as if its an indictment against the Reds somehow. Geesh.

If the guy is good enough and is willing to sign, then the Reds will get him. If not, then so be it. I would hate to sign inferior asians just because some dude out there or the Reds themselves has some sort of race guilt issue.


The article is noting that there is a large, untapped market of baesball wealth out there which the Reds are being slow to exploit, compared to other MLB teams. I think you're seeing what you want to see in the article, rather than what it actually says. Step back from the ledge, Francis. Did Affirmative Action beat you up in grade school or something? ;)

Hoosier Red
03-08-2007, 04:08 PM
But if they're ignoring largely untapped places to find talent that's bad business.
No quota's necessary, just go to where you can get the most talent.

smith288
03-08-2007, 04:15 PM
The article is noting that there is a large, untapped market of baesball wealth out there which the Reds are being slow to exploit, compared to other MLB teams. I think you're seeing what you want to see in the article, rather than what it actually says. Step back from the ledge, Francis. Did Affirmative Action beat you up in grade school or something? ;)

That dude was such a butt head to me.


But if they're ignoring largely untapped places to find talent that's bad business.
No quota's necessary, just go to where you can get the most talent.


That was what im saying. Any asian of any talent goes to the Yankees, Red Sox or another big market team ( and Seattle for some reason). The hype for such players is brilliantly played by the asian folks.

We lag in signing quality pitchers overall race notwithstanding.

Scouting there is imperative just like its imperative to scout in Iowa, Dominican and South America.

Chip R
03-08-2007, 04:17 PM
But if they're ignoring largely untapped places to find talent that's bad business.
No quota's necessary, just go to where you can get the most talent.


Absolutely. No one's saying they should just sign Asians just because they are Asian. That would not be a good idea. Look at what happened to the American League when they drug their heels on signing black players. The Red Sox especially. From the 50s on to 1967 they were not a good team. One of the reasons being that they didn't sign black players. Or they didn't sign as many as other teams. Now I don't think that one team is going to stock up on Asian players and will become a juggernaut but if the talent is there, with the cost of home grown players, it's smart business to scout there.

registerthis
03-08-2007, 04:30 PM
C. Trent forgetting about last year's season changing acquisition of Sun-Woo Kim?

Well, that is very forgettable.

princeton
03-08-2007, 05:02 PM
Junichi Iwasaki was signed from under the Red Sox in 1998. The Reds thought that they really had something.

Alejandro Diaz was Latin American but was playing in Japan

problem was that neither played well, and also that the Reds overspent their budget on these two guys, which forced them to pick "signable" players in the draft.

Chip R
03-08-2007, 05:03 PM
Alejandro Diaz was Latin American but was playing in Japan



The mayor of Chattanooga.

lollipopcurve
03-08-2007, 05:10 PM
Junichi Iwasaki was signed from under the Red Sox in 1998. The Reds thought that they really had something.

No memory of this player... where'd he play?

westofyou
03-08-2007, 06:02 PM
No memory of this player... where'd he play?

1998 Billings

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/stats.asp?Y=1998&ID=10108


The Reds are the latest team to step up the search for international talent. They recently signed Japanese high school star Junichi Iwasaki, a lefthanded pitcher, and will get their first look at him after he graduates in March.

Last month, the Reds signed six Hispanic players in an attempt to enhance their small presence in the Caribbean and Mexico.


http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1208/is_n3_v222/ai_20167338

lollipopcurve
03-08-2007, 06:20 PM
1998 Billings

thanks -- the teenager from Japan did not take to Montana, somehow

Shaknb8k
03-08-2007, 08:54 PM
I am all for moving into the asian market but there are things the Reds have to do first. The Reds are hardly making a dent in the dominican market right now. I understand it takes years to build it back up from where it was and it seems like they are moving in the right direction but until the Latin American countries are "tapped" then dont think about asia.

A quick glance down Arizona's top prospect showed they had 10 Latin American players in their top 30 Prospects. I understand that is very unusual but that is the gold standard. The reds have 3 (Cueto, Perez, and Juan Francisco) and probably the best of em cant and its looking like never will make it out of his country cause of visa problems.

Once the reds tap into their Power of Latin Tradition then we will start to see an awsome farm system. Building a good farm system through the draft without any latin infulence can be done but its going to be very very hard (look at the last 10 years).

Once we have a great set of Latin American scouting going on then I would think about looking into Asia but I would also try and be a pioneer into a part of the world like the Yankees are going to do in China (its in asia but pretty much off limits to most teams). Maybe the Europe area or something like that. But Latin America first then everything else is second.

oneupper
03-08-2007, 10:40 PM
Great points, Shkb8nk

The economics of going after Asian players are totally different.
We've already seen what it takes (in terms of money) to land a Japanese player. It's another FA market.

After Japan, there is basically Korea and Taiwan. I'm not sure you can "draft" players there either. Getting scouts, trainers, translators or whatever over there or even hiring them locally is expensive. It's a full day flight from Cincinnati (about 5 grand round trip business class).

Latin America is MUCH easier and MUCH cheaper. You can sign players young and actually retain rights to them.

redsmetz
03-08-2007, 11:51 PM
The article is noting that there is a large, untapped market of baesball wealth out there which the Reds are being slow to exploit, compared to other MLB teams. I think you're seeing what you want to see in the article, rather than what it actually says. Step back from the ledge, Francis. Did Affirmative Action beat you up in grade school or something? ;)

:clap: :clap: :clap:

I couldn't have said it better. The emphasis is clearly on the fact that we're not putting ourselves in this market and tapping the potential available. We're getting there, but teams are signing players from all over the world (there are baseball schools now in Europe, for example). If there is talent there, we need to find it.

Marge'sMullet
03-09-2007, 12:39 PM
I'm currently living Asia. I haven't really thought about why the REDS don't have any Asian players, but I will tell you it couldn't hurt. It's seems like the really good ones go to the highest bidder. i.e. Newyorks and Boston and LA. If the REDS did make a dent into the asian market they would have to pay greatly or start by trying to pry the youngster out of Asia when they are 18 or 19. Good luck.

redsrule2500
03-09-2007, 12:50 PM
Wow. :rolleyes: That is the stupidest article I have seen published about the Reds in recent history.

How stupid are people gonna get...not signing enough asians OMG!!! :bang:

And yes, they are saying the Reds should sign asians based only on race. If they aren't saying that, they are claiming that the Reds are racist and blatantly try to screw asians over and sign other races instead.

Chip R
03-09-2007, 12:51 PM
I'm currently living Asia. I haven't really thought about why the REDS don't have any Asian players, but I will tell you it couldn't hurt. It's seems like the really good ones go to the highest bidder. i.e. Newyorks and Boston and LA. If the REDS did make a dent into the asian market they would have to pay greatly or start by trying to pry the youngster out of Asia when they are 18 or 19. Good luck.


The ones that have proved themselves in the pro leagues do go for a high price. The Reds just have to look at the ones that haven't turned pro yet. The Reds are never going to be able to outbid the larger market teams for the pros whether they be from Japan, Korea or Cuba. So they have to look at the younger ones and figure out which ones will be able to develop into players. It's no different than getting Dominican players.

Redsland
03-09-2007, 01:34 PM
It's seems like the really good ones go to the highest bidder. i.e. Newyorks and Boston and LA.
Hence the occasional calls of an international draft.

No luck so far.

Tom Servo
03-09-2007, 04:40 PM
Wow. :rolleyes: That is the stupidest article I have seen published about the Reds in recent history.

How stupid are people gonna get...not signing enough asians OMG!!! :bang:

And yes, they are saying the Reds should sign asians based only on race. If they aren't saying that, they are claiming that the Reds are racist and blatantly try to screw asians over and sign other races instead.
I really don't see how you can read it that way. What the article is saying is that we're missing out an a whole market that other teams are tapping into, not that we are bad people and should stock up on Asian players to show we're not racist.

luvdozer
03-09-2007, 04:46 PM
And yes, they are saying the Reds should sign asians based only on race. If they aren't saying that, they are claiming that the Reds are racist and blatantly try to screw asians over and sign other races instead.

really? I went back and read the article a second time and I still cant find the section saying that any team should sign people based on race. I did see passages discussing the challanges facing the Reds if they want to be competitive in the asian talent pool.

I'm not really sure what is wrong with any discussion of how my organization can or should become more competitive in any marketplace.

However, I do completely agree that the economics of the japanese market are different than the latin american market. I also agree that the Reds dont seem to be doing everything a small market team can and should do to develop cheap talent in a talent-rich environment such as latin america in general and the dominican republic specifically.

dsmith421
03-09-2007, 05:09 PM
I went back and read the article a second time and I still cant find the section saying that any team should sign people based on race.

That's because it's not there, and the only people who can find it in that article are really trying hard to manufacture outrage.

It's no different then someone writing an article about how the Reds don't sign enough players from Michigan. I'm sure some nutcase on this site would clutch their pearls and retire to the fainting couch based on that particular bit of PC-ism run amok, too.

westofyou
03-10-2007, 10:38 AM
And yes, they are saying the Reds should sign asians based only on race.

Eh?

Comprehension much?

OnBaseMachine
03-11-2007, 06:11 PM
The Cincinnati Reds were able to break into the Taiwanese market by signing 19 year LHP Tzu-Kai Chiu. Chiu received an estimated $200,000 signing bonus + additional money for his education. Chiu stands around 6'0" tall and weighs close to 200 pounds. Chiu has been on the MLB radar for quite some time now - refer to this Jan. '06 post to read more about Chiu. Chiu is currently in his first year of college but will be heading to the US shortly for a physical. Chiu throws comfortably in the 85 to 87 mph range with touches of 89 mph on his fastball - Chiu's best pitch is his curveball. Congrats to Chiu!

http://taiwanbaseball.blogspot.com/2007/03/tzu-kai-chiu-signs-with-reds.html

)Tzu-Kai Chiu - LHP: DOB: 9/14/87 Stands 6'0 tall, weighs close to 200 pounds. Throws around 89 to 90 mph max. This kid has been on the youth national team scene for a while now. In 2003, he led Taiwan to the gold by beating both South Korea and Japan in the Asian Youth Championships. At the time, the Colorado Rockies were pursuing Chiu pretty heavily after establishing the Tsao and Lo pitching pipeline. Chiu was also on the 2003 World Youth Baseball Championship silver medal winning team. Chiu started the title game against the US, but took the loss in that game. Chiu then represented Chinese Taipei at the abbreviated 2004 World Junior Baseball Championships where he went 1-1 (W/L), had a 0.00 ERA and K'd 4 in 2.1 IP.

http://taiwanbaseball.blogspot.com/2006/01/yeh-joins-red-soxmore-on-way.html

smith288
03-11-2007, 09:17 PM
I would rather read an article saying something like this "Reds lag behind in signing quality talent".

Any race under that is covered. Thats all im saying.

redsrule2500
03-11-2007, 09:22 PM
I would rather read an article saying something like this "Reds lag behind in signing quality talent".

Any race under that is covered. Thats all im saying.

Done.

Will M
03-11-2007, 09:40 PM
the Reds are at a big disadvantage when trying to attract talent from Asia
simply because there isn't a large Asian community in the area.
the 2 coasts ( especially the west coast ) have a lot more people ( or their parents/grandparents ) who came from Asia.

players feel ( probably correctly ) that they will feel more comfortable in a city like SF or NY. this is especially true if they ( or their wife/family ) doesn't speak english.

edabbs44
03-11-2007, 09:42 PM
the Reds are at a big disadvantage when trying to attract talent from Asia
simply because there isn't a large Asian community in the area.
the 2 coasts ( especially the west coast ) have a lot more people ( or their parents/grandparents ) who came from Asia.

players feel ( probably correctly ) that they will feel more comfortable in a city like SF or NY. this is especially true if they ( or their wife/family ) doesn't speak english.

Unfortunately, this is true. That is why globalizing the draft is an absolute must.

Chip R
03-11-2007, 10:07 PM
the Reds are at a big disadvantage when trying to attract talent from Asia
simply because there isn't a large Asian community in the area.
the 2 coasts ( especially the west coast ) have a lot more people ( or their parents/grandparents ) who came from Asia.

players feel ( probably correctly ) that they will feel more comfortable in a city like SF or NY. this is especially true if they ( or their wife/family ) doesn't speak english.


I don't know about that. I think we should attract a lot of players from North Korea, China and Vietnam. They should love playing for the Reds. ;)

Seriously, you have a point and it's a good one. However, you can't always choose where you can play. I don't think kids from the Dominican would feel really comfortable here either. And, you never know. Perhaps the Asian kid who gets signed with the Reds gets traded to a place he feels more comfortable. Point is that a kid, no matter what his race is, can make a good deal of money as a big league player. That solves a bunch of problems.

Marc D
03-11-2007, 10:36 PM
Maybe no Asians want to sign with us because we made the last one feel small.

camisadelgolf
01-12-2011, 03:21 PM
I don't know that I'd say the Reds have come a long way in regards to signing Asians, but here are three players they signed out of Taiwan since CTR wrote that article:
LHP Tzu-Kai Chiu, Taiwan
IF Yen-Wen Kuo, Taiwan (released)
RHP Po-Cheng Chi, Taiwan

That's also not to mention more signees from Australia, Italy, Czech Republic, and Germany. I'd wager that the Reds organization is a lot more international than it was, say, five years ago.

lollipopcurve
01-12-2011, 03:33 PM
I'd wager that the Reds organization is a lot more international than it was, say, five years ago.

Yes it is -- and there's no comparison.

westofyou
01-12-2011, 03:38 PM
Yes it is -- and there's no comparison.

I'd wager most orgs are as well.

TRF
01-12-2011, 03:47 PM
I'd wager most orgs are as well.

The pirates signed two pitchers from India. They just released one of them though.

lollipopcurve
01-12-2011, 03:50 PM
I'd wager most orgs are as well.

If you go back to the pre-O'Brien era, there are few orgs that have come as far as the Reds. The Reds were moribund internationally for a long time prior to O'Brien.

Unassisted
01-12-2011, 06:07 PM
Maybe no Asians want to sign with us because we made the last one feel small.It has been almost 4 years since this post was made and even longer since Danny Graves was made to feel small in Cincinnati, but reading it today still made me laugh. :laugh:

traderumor
01-12-2011, 06:31 PM
I wasn't aware that there was a huge Asian influx of talent to MLB that makes an org. that has done little to nothing there any worse off.