Sunday, November 10, 2013

NPB Players In Caribbean Winter Leagues

A couple of teams have sent a handful of players to play in the Caribbean this winter.  The Giants have sent Yuki Egarashi and Ryuji Ichioka to play for the Ponce Lions in Puerto Rico.  The Hawks have sent four players to the Carolina Giants in Puerto Rico (Nao Higashihama, Daichi Hoshino, Yuya Iida and Shuhei Fukuda) and two players to the Águilas Cibaeñas in the Dominican Republic (Hiroki Yamada and Sho Iwasaki).  (The Hawks have also sent six players to play in the Taiwan Winter League.)

2008 BBM Tokyo Big Six Autumn Version #02

Yuki Egarashi was drafted by the Giants in October 2011 (2012 draft) from the industrial leagues.  He had attended Meiji University (and was in the 2008 BBM Tokyo Big Six Autumn Version set) and then played for Toshiba in the industrial leagues.  He has cards in the 2012 BBM 1st Version and Rookie Edition sets as well as BBM's Giant team sets the past two years.

2011 BBM Nippon Series #S25

Shuhei Fukuda has had quite a few cards since being taken by the Hawks in the 2007 draft.  BBM sets he appears in include the 2007 Rookie Edition set, the 2007 Rookie Edition Premium set, the 2007 and 2012 1st Version sets, the 2011 and 2012 2nd Version sets and the 2011 Nippon Series set, as well as the Hawks team sets for each year from 2007 to 2013.  He also has a Calbee card from 2012 and a couple cards with Konami and Bandai.

2013 BBM Classic #049

Nao Higashihama was the top draft pick for the Hawks in the 2013 draft (held in October 2012).  All of his cards are from the 2013 season and, being a top rookie, he's appeared in many BBM sets - 1st and 2nd Versions, Genesis, Classic, Diamond Age, Hawks team, Hawks 75th Anniversary and Rookie Edition Premium.  He's also in the Calbee "Exciting Rookie" subset.

2012 BBM Hawks #H26

Daichi Hoshino, on the other hand, has not appeared in many sets.  He was taken by the Hawks in the 2011 draft and as a result shows up in BBM's Rookie Edition and 1st Version sets that year.  His only other cards have been in the Hawks team sets from 2011 to 2013.

2012 BBM Rookie Edition #062

Another player without many cards is Ryuji Ichioka.  He was taken by the Giants in the 2012 draft and appears in both the Rookie Edition and 1st Version sets from BBM that year.  He's also in the Giants team sets the past two years.

2013 BBM Rookie Edition #62

Yuya Iida is one of the few players from the 2013 draft who only had a card in BBM's Rookie Edition set and not 1st Version.  His only other card is from the Hawks team set this year.

2008 BBM Hawks #H21

Like Fukuda, Sho Iwasaki has had a lot of cards.  He's in the 2008 Rookie Edition set (after being taken by the Hawks in the 2008 draft) along with the 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2013 1st Version sets and the 2011-13 2nd Version sets.  He's been in the Hawk team sets each year since 2008 and even has a couple Calbee cards from 2012 and 2013.

2013 BBM Great Numbers #108

There were two Hiroki Yamada's taken in the 2007 draft - one in the high school portion by the Swallows (who had a card in the 2007 BBM Rookie Edition set) and one in the ikusei portion taken by the Hawks (who didn't).  The one we're concerned about is the one who started out as an ikusei player.  His first card was in the 2008 BBM Hawks set.  I'm not sure, but I think he was actually released by the Hawks after 2009 but he resigned with them in 2010.  He's appeared in the Hawks sets from 2008-2013 along with the 2011-13 1st Version sets and the 2010-13 2nd Version sets.  Like Fukuda, he appeared in the 2011 Nippon Series set.  He's also appeared in a couple of the "Historic Collection" sets - the 2012 "Strongest Generation" and 2013 "Great Numbers" sets.

As far as I know, there are no baseball cards for either the Puerto Rican or Dominican Winter Leagues.

As always, I used the great work that Jason has done with the's Inventory Manager in looking up the cards these guys have.  And I need to credit an email from Scott Kaneko telling me that Scott's friend Noel Martir Arcelay had noticed the Japanese players in the Puerto Rican league.  I had missed the two YakyuBaka posts referenced above and if Scott hadn't mentioned it, I probably wouldn't have realized that anyone from Japan was playing in the Latin leagues.

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