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The Cubs' Japanese Roster, or, Is There Any Hope For Kosuke Fukudome?

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The Cubs' Japanese Roster, or, Is There Any Hope For Kosuke Fukudome?
Admit it Cubs fans - you liked Kosuke Fukudome at first. He came roaring out of the gates, and the Northside faithful united in celebration of their new import star with hachimakis and t-shirts featuring the Asahi flag and "Fukudome" written in katakana.

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Re: The Cubs' Japanese Roster, or, Is There Any Hope For Kosuke Fukudo
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Feb 9, 2009 3:49 PM ]

I am a Cubs fan ever since I was a twinkle in my father's eye; I am passionate about baseball and of my favorite team in professional sports. And I am a huge fan of NPB, although my favorite team since day one has been the Yokohama BayStars, I do follow and recognize the top notch talent the NPB has to offer. Ever since I saw Fukudome for the first time I thought of him as an impact player of great presence and discipline. Imagine my joy when he was signed by my Cubs; I kept bragging to family and friends about the next Ichiro with more pop in his bat.

I still feel the same way about Fukudome and I believe his discipline will help him bounce back in a big way. One thing I thought speaks about his dedication and professionalism was that he never let the pressure get to him, he dealt very well with the media and he never let his offensive slump interfere with a gold glove caliber defensive season. He flashed the leather all season last year and I truly believe he will be adding the plate performances we are custom to in his (I think) MLB breakout sophomore season.

GAMBARE, Fukudome, GAMBARE!!!!!
Re: The Cubs' Japanese Roster, or, Is There Any Hope For Kosuke Fukudo
[ Author: xbalanque | Posted: Feb 10, 2009 3:42 AM ]

Fukudome has been a fine player, but I am concerned about his age. He will be 32 in 2009, which is an age at which players generally start a steep decline. Now that he has had a year in the majors, he should hit with more power in 2009, but I think he's unlikely to ever hit more than 15 or 20 HRs in a full season of at-bats at the major league level.

He has value as a pinch hitter and back-up outfielder because of his high OBP and defense, but at $10M per year he is way overpaid for a part-time player.
Re: The Cubs' Japanese Roster, or, Is There Any Hope For Kosuke Fukudo
[ Author: No.1BayFan | Posted: Feb 17, 2009 1:44 PM | YOK Fan ]

I'm in the same boat as Cyphre, almost. Being from the Chicagoland area originally and growing up rooting for the Cubs (and ChiSox as well because my father never really bought into the whole crosstown rivalry thing), I thought that the Cubs entering the Japanese market was long overdue and should have happened years ago. I was extremely happy that the Cubs signed Fukudome because I knew he would add what the Cubs needed.

I would have to disagree with xbalanque in that Fukudome should hit with more power in 2009. While that may be true, Fukudome was never really a power hitter to begin with in my opinion, and the reason the Cubs brought him in was indeed because of his OBP and his defense as well as his left-handed bat, too. Fukudome should stick to getting on base and hitting for extra bases because the Cubs have enough power bats in the lineup and Fukudome should not be one of them.

So yes, I would say that there is hope next year for "Special K" (as I call him) as last year was his first season in the Majors, and I would say it was more of an adjustment than anything. I truly do hope and expect at the same time that Fukudome will make the necessary adjustments and have a wonderful 2009 season on "Clark and Addison." I want him to cause the same grief to opponents that I suffered every time my BayStars played the Chunichi Dragons a few years back.

This is a site about Pro Yakyu (Japanese Baseball), not about who the next player to go over to MLB is. It's a community of Pro Yakyu fans who have come together to share their knowledge and opinions with the world. It's a place to follow teams and individuals playing baseball in Japan (and Asia), and to learn about Japanese (and Asian) culture through baseball.

It is my sincere hope that once you learn a bit about what we're about here that you will join the community of contributors.

Michael Westbay
(aka westbaystars)

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