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Ex-Cub Matt Murton an early-season start in Japan

Apr 26, 2010, 7:30 PM EDT

With the NPB season about 25 games in, let’s have a look at some of the early numbers from Japan:
Central League hitters
Matt Murton – .343/.398/.525 in 99 AB
Jose Castillo – .341/.371/.538 in 91 AB
Tony Blanco – .314/.385/.581 in 105 AB
Craig Brazell – .280/.344/.573 in 82 AB
Jamie D’Antona – .245/.296/.480 in 98 AB
Alex Ramirez – .243/.369/.524 in 103 AB
Aaron Guiel – .239/.396/.568 in 88 AB
Terrmel Sledge – .226/.308/.452 in 93 AB
Kenji Johjima – .226/.255/.355 in 93 AB
I’d like to see Matt Murton playing a significant role on a major league team, but at least he’s making decent money overseas and at age 28, he’s still young enough to come back to the U.S. and succeed someday. In the meantime, he’s sixth in the Central League in average and tied for fourth with 19 runs scored in 24 games.
Pacific League hitters
Alex Cabrera – .407/.500/.802 in 81 AB
Tadahito Iguchi – .366/.508/.584 in 101 AB
Jose Ortiz – .271/.328/.533 in 107 AB
Greg LaRocca – .237/.317/.427 in 89 AB
Dee Brown – .225/.295/.396 in 111 AB
Cabrera is another who would have hit in the majors, but when he looked to return to the States after the 2007 season, he didn’t find any suitable offers. It was understandable at the time, given that he was 36 and coming off the worst of his seven seasons in Japan. He’s 38 now and still a dominant force in Japan. He leads the Pacific League with eight homers, one more than Ortiz and two in front of Takeya Nakamura. No one else in the circuit has a slugging percentage within 200 points of his .802 mark.
The pitching numbers aren’t very interesting yet, so I’ll skip the full rundown. Two lines are worth of note: Yu Darvish is 3-2 with a 2.35 ERA that ranks fourth in the Pacific League and a league-best 63 strikeouts in 46 innings and former Diamondbacks prospect Tony Barnette currently leads the Central League with a 1.73 ERA after four starts.
Barnette, 26, was 14-8 with a 5.79 ERA and a 121/62 K/BB ratio for Triple-A Reno last year.

  1. Jere - Apr 26, 2010 at 8:13 PM

    Matt Murton has 109 runs scored in 24 games. Japanese baseball sounds awesome.

  2. Matthew Pouliot - Apr 26, 2010 at 11:31 PM

    Oops. Fixed.

  3. jwb - Apr 27, 2010 at 4:31 AM

    “[Murton is] making decent money overseas”
    If by ‘decent money’, you mean ‘more than 5 times as much as he has ever made in MLB’, then, yeah, he’s making decent money.

  4. Ryan - Apr 27, 2010 at 10:35 AM

    Well at least we know Kenji Johjima still sucks.

  5. mike bourdeau - Apr 27, 2010 at 1:18 PM

    i would like to know if yu darvish,norichika aoki and hisashi iwakuma will be coming to play in the u.s.a. next year. i already drafted darvish in anticipation of him coming over to mlb. i hear a lot of scouts from mlb are looking at darvish right now. any info would be helpfull. thank you, mike bourdeau

  6. tony b - Jun 12, 2010 at 9:26 AM

    matt murton is a great all around player and needs to be back in the majors look at some of the cubs right now hitting in high 100’s or low 200’s whats up with that.

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