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On Matsuzaka, Pitchability, and the White Sox

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I don't often ever read the Japan Times, so it should come as no surprise that I'm about 3 days late in finding this article quoting the White Sox GM of International Operations, Ray Poitevint, on soon to be posted Japanese Phenom, Daisuke Matsuzaka. In the article, Poitevint discounts Matsuzaka's perceived status as sure fire ace in MLB citing, among other things, his only above average pitches.

If I was to prepare my own scouting report from the, admittedly, limited innings that I've seen of him, it would be just as cautious; not because I think Matsuzaka would wash out in MLB, but because his repertoire reminds me a bit of Javier Vazquez'. Poitevint's description of Matsuzaka here sounds a lot like a certain parrot from the Sox TV booth when Vazquez is on the mound.

"He is throwing a lot of pitches that aren't necessary. He has quality pitches. He could take three of those pitches, and maybe the fourth one he throws, and it would be enough."
$50+M/3yrs is a big risk for a player with no guarantee of success.

That being said, the descriptions of Matsuzaka as a guy without overpowering stuff who knows how to pitch sure sounds like the type of pitchers the Sox have been drafting lately. In fact, the pitchers in question are even enamored with their own 'pitchability.'

"You can critique each pitch I throw, whether it's above or below average, but you have to give my pitchability credit," Broadway said. "I've been knocked by every scout there is.

"They have said things like, 'Wait until hitters see him a few times' or 'Wait until he gets through a full season at the Triple-A level.' It will be that way until I prove I can pitch season upon season.

"That sort of opinion is understandable because I'm a right-hander with a 90-mph fastball," Broadway added. "But I'm coming to play, no matter what's on the table. If I get my shot for the White Sox, I'll find a way to get the job done. That's what good pitchers do."

The quote that jumped out at me in the Japan Times article was this one regarding some of the unique ways the Sox evaluate their top prospects.

"We give all of our top prospects athletic motivational tests. It will tell you if a player is weak on emotional control if the winning run is on third base, or if a guy isn't coachable, or doesn't trust instruction."
I don't really know what to say other than, I wonder if A-Rod would pass the Sox psych exam?

Here's a link to WasWatching because that's where I found the JT link.