In this series, we look back on our draft picks from the past six seasons and see how they are faring now. Were the guys all the cracked up to be? Overachievers? Underachievers? Non-achievers? Click here for: 2011 / 2012 / 2013 / 2015 / 2016
Round 1: Yuya Yokoyama (P) – Shin Nisshiki (Industrial League)
Our first choice was Kohei Arihara (went to the Fighters) and the secondary choice was Yasuaki Yamasaki (BayStars). What was left for us was a lefty who has thrown a few games each season since, but has also spent most of his career injured. Unless he somehow finds health and consistency, this will go down as yet another first round bust.
Round 2: Tsuyoshi Ishizaki (P) – Shin Nisshiki (Industrial League)
His first two years somewhat mirrored those of Yokoyama (interesting since they were indy-league teammates), but in 2017, Ishizaki showed that he is capable of being a solid, hard-throwing, dependable arm out of the bullpen. Hoping he can do it for several seasons to come.
Round 3: Taiga Egoshi (OF) – Komasawa University
He is, in my opinion, among the most talented and physically gifted of outfielders on our team. Power. Speed. Defense. Unfortunately, he has failed to do the most important thing: get on base. He strikes out frequently and seems to have some mental issues that are preventing him from fulfilling his potential. If he doesn’t get it together soon, he may never be the man he is meant to be.
Round 4: Koki Moriya (P) – Honda Suzushika (Industrial League)
Hasn’t really excelled on the top squad in his limited chances. Those chances have been limited because he has not shown much greatness on the farm, either. Primed to be cut.
Round 5: Kai Ueda (IF) – Ohmi High School
Drafted out of high school primarily for his speed and defense. Those skills are still there, and he seems to have found some hitting talent down on the farm these past 3 years. He added switch hitting to his resume, too, and with Yamato possibly leaving due to free agency, he could fight for the starting shortstop position come spring.
WEAK. In part due to losing two straight lotto picks in the first round, our top pick has brought almost zero dividends. *IF* Egoshi and Ueda pan out, this draft crop looks a lot better, but in its current state, you have just one guy who played well (and for long stretches) on the top squad last year.