Saturday, November 16, 2013

Where Are They Now - 2008 Collegiate Players

There aren't many options for "pre-rookie" cards in Japan.  The NPB teams each have one minor league team, but there's no team sets available for the minor league squads.  Pretty much every player who ends up on an NPB team (either the ichi-gun or the ni-gun level) gets a card in BBM's Rookie Edition when drafted and usually in BBM's 1st Version set - either one of which should be considered the player's rookie card.  There do not appear to be any cards available for either the industrial leagues or the independent minor leagues.  There are no cards for high schools either and, up until 2008, there were no cards for collegiate players.

Actually let me revise that.  The first known Japanese baseball cards that depict specific players were for college players.  Most of these cards were issued in the early 1930's although there were a few in the late 1940's.  I'm pretty sure that there were no collegiate cards issued in Japan after the 1940's until 2008.

In 2008, BBM put out three collegiate sets.  Two were for the Tokyo Big Six league - a 60 card Spring Version set (featuring 54 players) and a 36 card Autumn Version set (containing 30 players).  The other set was a 44 card set (featuring 22 players) for the Collegiate National Team.  In addition to the BBM sets, there was actually sort of a Japanese collegiate set issued in the United States that year.  Upper Deck put out boxed sets for the amateur Team USA that year.  One of the possible inserts in the boxes were memorabilia cards for 22 players from the 2007 Japanese Collegiate National team.  There were a number of different versions of these cards available starting with simple jersey cards and moving into various serially numbered autograph, patch or jersey letter cards.

Now that five years have passed I thought it might be fun to see who from these four sets has moved on to bigger and better things.  (This should complement my draft posts where I list what sets players got drafted appear in - this will list what drafts players in a set were taken in.)  I will point out that this is not going to be a thorough "where are they now?" as I don't really know where anyone who didn't go to NPB ended up.  There may be players from these sets who are playing in the industrial leagues or in the independent minors but I don't know how I would be able to track that.  I've tried to get this as up to date as I can but I may have missed something.


Swallows, 2010
Aranami, ShoTokaiBay Stars, 2011UDPlayed for Toyota, Won Golden Glove in 2012 & 2013
Egarashi, Yuki
Giants, 2012
AVPlayed for Toshiba

Tigers, 2010

Bay Stars, 2009
Released by DeNA in October 2013

Aoyama Gakuin
Eagles, 2009
CNTReleased by Rakuten in October 2013

ToyoFighters, 2011CNT

AsiaCarp, 2009CNT, UD

TokaiDragons, 2009CNT

MeijiDragons, 2009SV, AV, CNT

KomazawaBuffaloes, 2012UDPlayed for Nihon Semei
KeioSwallows, 2008UDGave up Shinnosuke Abe's 200th home run on 9/18/2009Retired at the end of 2012

Aoyama GakuinCarp, 2008UD

HoseiCarp, 2009SV, AVWas with ikusei Carp for 2013 but was released at the end of the season.

WasedaBay Stars, 2009SV, AV, CNT, UD

AsiaDragons, 2010CNT, UD

Kokusai Budo
Giants, 2009CNT, UDNow with the Eagles

Yokohama Shoka
Marines, 2009UDNow with the Fighters

MeijiCarp, 2012AV2012 Central League Rookie Of The Year, 2012 All Star

Kansai Gakuin
Marines, 2010UD

Hawks, 2008UD

WasedaLions, 2011AV

ToyoFighters, 2009CNT, UD

WasedaFighters, 2011AV, CNT, UD2011 & 2012 All Star

Kansai Kokuin
Fighters, 2009UD2010 Pacific League Rookie Of The Year. Released by Nippon Ham at the end of the 2013 season and signed with Orix.

Kokusai Budo
Tigers, 2009CNT

WasedaBay Stars, 2011SVPlayed for JFE Higashinihon
Takashima, Tsuyoshi
Aoyama GakuinBuffaloes, 2009CNTReleased by Orix in November 2011.  Played 21 games with the Lancaster Barnstormers of the Atlantic League in 2013.

HoseiCarp, 2010AV, CNT
Tatsumi, Shingo
KinkiHawks, 2009CNT, UD

RikkioEagles, 2010SV

Tsuboi, Toshiki
TsukubaMarines, 2009CNTReleased by Lotte October 2011

WasedaTigers, 2009SV, AV, CNT, UD

Yokohama Shogyo
Bay Stars, 2009CNT UD

Legend - SV = 2008 BBM Tokyo Big Six Spring Version
               AV = 2008 BBM Tokyo Big Six Autumn Version
               CNT = 2008 BBM Japanese Collegiate National Team
               UD = 2008 Upper Deck Team USA 2007 Japanese Collegiate National Team Memorabilia Cards

Of the 54 players in the Tokyo Big Six Spring Version set, eight played in NPB.  Of the 30 players in the Autumn Version set, 10 played in NPB (including all five of the Waseda team members featured).  For the Japanese Collegiate National Team, 18 of the 22 members of the 2007 team featured by Upper Deck and 19 of the 22 members of the 2008 squad in the BBM set went on to play in NPB.

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