Thursday, December 17, 2015

Previewing the projected field - Kiryuu Dai-ichi (Gunma)

Kiryuu Dai-ichi is looking to revive themselves in the world of 高校野球, reaching the quarterfinals 2 years ago after a decent hiatus from the scene.

Ace Uchiike Kakeru (内池 翔) and Aoki Kaito (青木 快人) are the tandem that leads the pitching staff. Uchiike isn't anything special - mid-130s fastball with a slider and curve. His numbers this fall have been solid outside of their game against Urawa Gakuin, but given his repertoire it's not surprising he's not blowing away the competition - but the general lack of free passes is a plus.

Aoki Kaito would be a player Deanna would like. He's a knuckle-scraper, and while that can fool batters, and we've seen them be successful in the majors in a closer role (Darren O'Day and Pat Neshek for instance), I don't know if it can work in long stretches - hence his longest outing was 4 innings in their loss against Jyousou Gakuin.

Offensively, leadoff batter Oikawa Keita (追川 恵太) sets the tone for the team, finding ways to get on base or bring in a run. There's also Murota Yoshito(?) (宝田 善統) who at least finds a way to get a base hit, and at #5 in the order hopefully has people in front of him to drive in.

With the lack of information, it's hard to project where they will land. The pitching side isn't impressive, but if it's serviceable it could be good enough.

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