Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Reviewing the field - Shiritsu Wakayama (Wakayama)

This is what I don't understand about Shiritsu Wakayama getting the bid. Somehow they got a direct path to the 2nd stage of the Wakayama fall prefecturals - which I don't understand because they didn't do all that well prior. Yet they won their 3 games against below-average competition to win the Wakayama prefecturals, defeated a Heijyou squad that was less than spectacular, and was run over by Akashi Shougyou once they had to relieve Akaba Riku (赤羽 陸).

And that's a problem, because in all their games, Akaba never went the full 9. Instead Kurisu Takumi (栗栖 拓巳), who had been the ace, would enter the game.

Even weirder, it's Akaba that has more information than Kurisu (though it's still very little). Reports have him hitting 140, but it's probably more like mid 130s. I know he has a slider, but not much else. Neither he nor Kurisu strikes out a lot of batters, and both are prone to give up walks. This does not make for a good combination.

Offensively the team is even harder to project. They didn't face a quality team at all in their 5 games in the fall, most ended in blowouts, but in their final game they were limited to just 3 hits against an Akashi Shougyou team whose pitching doesn't grade out well - all of which proves to be problematic. You could point to the middle of the order, as the 3-4-5 hitters of CF Shichino Ryou(?) (七野 怜), 1B Kitajima Ryou (北嶋 稜), and RF Kinoshita Kouji (木下 康司). But on the overall, the prospects for Shiritsu Wakayama to make a run of any kind seems rather dim.

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