More Johjima stats

DMZ · November 25, 2005 at 9:44 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

BP’s latest Prospectus Notebook has a bit on Kenji Johjima, and includes this long-awaited tidbit:

Johjima 2000-2005 Translated Statistics with Fukuoka

2000 311 6 83.3 293/351/428 .272 43
2001 551 13 75.0 256/288/361 .226 50
2002 438 12 72.7 286/351/411 .265 57
2003 561 13 72.7 296/367/430 .277 80
2004 436 15 71.4 300/381/459 .289 69
2005 424 11 42.9 290/350/439 .272 59

A projection based on his three-year average production would be .295/.366/.442, which is a lot different than the .300/.340/.500 I came up with using a harsher version of Clay’s older estimations of NPB strength in a post last week. It looks like in the intervening years, Clay’s revised the translations again to try and project the difference in power numbers based on what we’ve seen from 2002 through last season.

Even if you knock it down for age and his new home park, that still would make a great line to get from our catcher, and if he really is as advertised defensively, all the better.


33 Responses to “More Johjima stats”

  1. Taylor Davis on November 25th, 2005 10:09 pm

    So it looks like his slugging was dropped significantly and his OBP was fairly high, as some of the commenters had suggested should be the case in the previous post on this subject. Someone posted the 18-28% drop in slugging percentage for all the Japanese players who have come over, and that’s what BP seems to predict as well.

  2. rob42012 on November 25th, 2005 10:33 pm

    One of the most exciteing stats I’ve seen, that makes me like this signing is the fact that he struck out only 45 times compared to 49 walks last year.

  3. Jeremy on November 25th, 2005 11:26 pm

    According to that line, by doing a quick OPS run on ESPN, he would have finished 4th among fulltime catchers last year and ahead of Posada, Molina and Javy Lopez.

    Not bad for a $6M investment.

  4. Shea on November 26th, 2005 12:35 am

    One thing’s for sure though, he is going to be an improvement over what we had at catcher last year.

  5. ray on November 26th, 2005 4:01 am

    Wow, to me those numbers look like gravy. I can’t wait to see him hit the stuffing out of the balls against some of those turkeys they call pitchers. To see some #5 pitcher throw a potato and Jojima mash it would be grand.

    Too much?

  6. Terry on November 26th, 2005 12:39 pm

    These projections really give me hope for next year. The bottom third of the M’s lineup was such a black hole production wise last season made worse by the fact that there was absolutely no stability at the catchers spot (which had to be a drag on the rotation).

    Signing jojima improves this team in so many ways. Numbers like above coupled with just the decent improvement that could be reasonably expected as a result of the maturation of Reed, Bettancourt and Lopez (10%?) would pretty much guarantee a competitive team. This was a great signing.

  7. Gomez on November 26th, 2005 2:08 pm

    Even low end pessimist projections show him putting up solid numbers (270/330/450ish), which is a huge improvement over our replacement-level rotation of catchers. I’m so glad he really wanted to play here, that the M’s did what it took to bring him in and that he’ll bring his talent to our everyday lineup.

  8. Shoeless Jose on November 26th, 2005 2:48 pm

    That .295/.366/.442 line would place him second in BA (behind Ichiro), second in OBP (behind Sexson), and second in SLG (again behind Sexson) on the 2005 roster (among players with at least 50 ABs). If he really puts up those kind of numbers in an M’s uniform, that instantly makes him one of the best two or three offensive players on the team, while simultaneously erasing the black hole that was C last year. That’s a huge step towards improving the team — and at a price that still leaves room to address the craptastic rotation. Thumbs up, Mr. B — so far so good. Now go out and find some arms.

  9. mark from Oly. on November 26th, 2005 4:36 pm

    #7 agreed. …But was the catcher position even replacement-level?

    Image if Johjima has a good year because he is trying to prove himself in the new league?

    All the other M’s fans out there might actually be as happy about this move as the majority are on this site.

  10. Gomez on November 26th, 2005 5:20 pm

    Barely, Mark, and only thanks to overperformance by Rivera and Wiki. So yeah, you could say it essentially wasn’t even replacement level.

    What’s even better about the M’s is that the team, going into this offseason, without any signings, was already better than our Opening Day 2004 roster, if you compare who we had at certain positions (Olivo, Boone, Valdez, Sele) with who we have now (Torrealba and now Johjima, Lopez, Betancourt, Felix).

  11. guyman on November 26th, 2005 6:22 pm

    those kenji johjima stats are way off, go here to see the correct hr numbers

  12. Jeff K. on November 26th, 2005 6:56 pm

    #11 Guyman, I’m pretty sure the HR#’s above are Adjusted HR that Johjima WOULD have hit if he was in the US… Yes, they’re way off his actual. THey’re what we predict they would have been if he’d been playing in the US at the time. Just FYI.

  13. ray on November 26th, 2005 6:59 pm

    At first I was worried about those passed balls and errors but a quick look at other catcher stats (fielding) puts him in the top ten in ML. Is if far to say fielding is a one to one translation?
    He probably be #1 or 2 in DP, #5 in PO, #2 or 3 in Assists, #10 in errors (middle of pack), #1 or 2 in passed balls (oh dear!), and #5 in Field %, #3 or 4 in Caught stealing %. So it seems he is more good than bad in defense but I’m sure some (after a few passed balls) will complain. He also has a good number of pick offs but I couldn’t find that stat at ESPN. I think another thing people have missed is that he has played first base. This really gives Grover more flexibility.

  14. Shoeless Jose on November 26th, 2005 7:29 pm

    Passed balls really are impacted by the pitching staff. Yes, the wild pitch vs passed ball distinction is supposed to take care of that, but you only have to watch a few games with an “effectively” (or not) wild pitcher, or a knuckleballer, to see that a catcher who has one of those on his staff is going to have an inflated passed ball stat. Not knowing anything about the kind of pitchers Hey Joh has caught (or the tendencies of official scorers in Japan, for that matter) I don’t know how concerned to be about that stat. But I think it’s fair to say his offense will more than make up for any runs he doesn’t prevent.

  15. ray on November 26th, 2005 8:35 pm

    Oh, and about those power numbers, the park he played in, in Fukuoka, is almost as big as Safeco: 335 down the lines and 387 to the alleys. Unless there is a weather factor, I think his power should translate nicely. Wooo, ahhhh,…. calm down, calm down. I have to control my excitement.

  16. ray on November 26th, 2005 8:49 pm

    Sorry, some correction on numbers. The symmetrical stadium in Fukuoka IJojima’s homepark) demensions: 328 to the corners, 387 to the alleys, 400 to center, but the fence is 19 feet high. I mean these dimensions (when you include the fence) seem to be equal to Safeco’s.

  17. Mr. Egaas on November 26th, 2005 9:27 pm

    Any word on the calibur of pitching in Japan? You gotta figure the guy has to both adjust to pitchers he’s never seen before, and the calibur is probably a bit higher, the numbers will be a decline.

    Just go in not expecting too much, and you won’t be dissapointed. He’ll be better than what we threw out there last year, and he’s got potential to do huge.

  18. DMZ on November 26th, 2005 10:14 pm

    That’s what the whole adjustment is: it attempts to measure relative difficulty using the performances of both hitters and pitchers who move leagues.

  19. Dave Sund on November 26th, 2005 11:19 pm

    I’m not against plugging Choo in at LF, and Lopez in at 2B. Those two might have a bright future if given a chance. And SS isn’t that important if YuBet can fill in. The M’s need to spend on pitching this offseason, and if they can fill in a few holes on offense after that, fine.

  20. ray on November 27th, 2005 3:49 am

    Here is some more relevance to the topic

    My favorite quotes

    “Valentine, praised Johjima’s strong arm, quick release and accuracy when throwing to second base from his knees.
    Dan Serafini, said that no pitcher in Japan could overpower Johjima as a hitter and that he was a better hitter than Tadahito Iguchi
    Robert Whiting said he looks “like a train couldn’t knock him over” and was adept at handling pitchers.”

  21. Anthony on November 27th, 2005 9:02 am

    Clay Davenport wrote an essay about his revised Japanese translations in BP2004. He included a translation for Jojima at the time (noting that he couldn’t be posted until after 2005) that looked like this:

    .280/.329/.477; .264 EqA

    That would be based on his ’01-’03 seasons, I believe.

    Also worth noting: his translation for Iguchi was .269/.337/.446; .262, which is pretty close to what Iguchi did in 2005.

  22. Melvin Bob on November 27th, 2005 2:22 pm

    [“my roster” post]

  23. PaulMarrottWeaver on November 27th, 2005 8:51 pm

    I don’t know about you guys, but I am actually pretty satisfied with the offense in terms of what upper management can do. When you factor in Johjima, the new hitting coach’s track record, and the expected improvements of the youngsters and Beltre, I got to feel pretty comfortable with the offense, despite their performance last year.

    It really seems that pitching is a major, major weakness for the ’06 team. If the M’s don’t solidify that staff, they could look very similar to the Baltimore Orioles last year – all that offense for naught.

    Johjima looks like a sure bet even in conceivably bad case scenarios. Truly a star added to the roster.

  24. Pat K on November 27th, 2005 9:35 pm

    Re #23 who worries about …. “all that offense for naught”. I wonder he is looking at the same line-up. As I see it, even if Johjima proves to be above average, he’d join Sexson and Ichiro as only members of the line-up who are above the norm. Raul should be about average for a LF/DH and Beltre likely the same as a 3B. From the remaining lineup spots, out of YuBet, Lopez, Reed and the other DH/LF we will be lucky to have more than one batter performing even at league average. By my estimation that portends a very average offense in 2006, with potentially three players above average, and three below (and on an overall basis probbably trailing average in power and on-base percentage). Yes, we desperately need to improve our starting pitching, but the offense is still average at best. We still need someone to take the remaining LF/DH spot in the order who can mash the ball and get on base.

  25. NMS on November 27th, 2005 10:18 pm

    Wow! If Dan Serafini cant get you out you must be….oh yeah its Dan Serfini

  26. Bela Txadux on November 28th, 2005 1:16 am

    To me, this is a very believable projection for Joe-Jim. Power drops a bunch for the NPBers coming over, but his good eye at the plae is more likely to transfer with him ’cause the dish is the same size. This is largely what we’ve seen for other players, e.g. in numbers others cited here at the time of Johjima’s signing. And this projection would be a fine line if it works out that way.

  27. roger tang on November 28th, 2005 7:44 am

    Average offense? Maybe….but remember where they play….

  28. Bob Montgomery on November 28th, 2005 8:09 am

    That’s a line I can believe. I’m pretty glad the Ms signed this guy, though I still have doubts about signing an older catcher…they tend to tank in a hurry.

    I’m almost beginning to believe in the 2006 Mariners.

  29. B^rad on November 28th, 2005 9:25 am

    yes he is a great catcher but everyone in mariners managment needs to starts focusing on there bullpen if theywant a successful ’06 season

  30. Ralph Malph on November 28th, 2005 9:35 am

    Older? I don’t think a 29 year old qualifies as “older”.

    Pudge signed with the Tigers at age 32 and will be 34 on Wednesday. Posada is 34. Bengie Molina is 31. Varitek is 33. Kendall is 31. Those guys have age risk. There’s always age risk with a free agent, but at age 29 I don’t see age as a big risk.

  31. Ralph Malph on November 28th, 2005 9:37 am

    The bullpen was the strongest part of the team the last 2 years. That’s not what you need to worry about. Besides if you want them to focus on “there” bullpen, I’d say exercising Guardado’s option was doing that.

    Worrying about the bullpen on a team with one decent starting pitcher would be missing the point.

  32. eponymous coward on November 28th, 2005 11:41 am


    It also depends on how hard the guy was worked as a kid, too. See Johnny Bench’s career for a good example (especially comparing and contrasting with Carlton Fisk and Bob Boone). Johjima has bragged about catching every inning one year for Fukuoka, ad the J Leagues are pretty notorious for hard work (“voluntary” training starts in January, IIRC).

    I don’t think he’s a HIGH risk (in other words, I’m glad we signed him), but I would rather have seen a two-year deal with an optional third… and depending on how he’s used here, he might not have much mileage left by age 32-33.

  33. Ralph Malph on November 28th, 2005 11:46 am

    Epcow–That’s a fair point. On the other hand, playing every game in Japan means he’s caught as many as 140 games in a season. And each of the last two seasons he’s only caught 116.

    If he falls off the table at age 32, we’ll still get our 3 years out of him.