Scouting through the statistics...

Not having an infinite budget to go around the world and scout - nor the infinite time to do so - but having a computer at my finger tips and the know how to sift through the interwebs, here are some players that I am interested in that are in leagues outside of the United States.

Jorge Ibarra is a 26 year old left-handed reliever in the Mexican League. In 2012, when I started following him, he was a starter and had >2:1 K:BB in a hitter's league. His ERA was 3.91 (in a league that averaged a 5.05 ERA the following season) and his FIP was 3.92. He had a down year switching to a reliever in 2013, but has come back in 2014 to strike out 10.73 per 9 innings, but walking over 4 per 9. He'd be interesting to throw at AAA and hope he could become a LOOGY.

Jose Aguilar is a 24 year old right-handed hitting/throwing outfielder in the Mexican League. In 2013, I saw his great stats from 2012 (125 wRC+ in a hitter's league at the age of 22 (then)). He kept his numbers fairly good in 2013 (107 wRC+) in his first time playing over 100 games. This year, through 59 games, he has been incredibly good - with a 135 wRC+ and .412 wOBA - walking over 10% of the time, an OBP over .400 and a SLG near .500.

Edwin Fierro is a 20 year old right-handed pitcher also in the Mexican League. Remembering that it is a hitter's league, the kid has gone from a 5.76 FIP as an 18 year old to a 4.35 FIP last year at 19, to a 3.49 FIP this year at age 20. Someone is going to snag this kid up soon if his stuff is anywhere close to his numbers.

Hayato Sakamoto is a 25 year old right-handed hitting/throwing shortstop in the Japan Central League. I saw his stats last year after a down season and wanted to keep an eye on him. This year, his OBP jumped back over .350 for the second time in three seasons. His slugging jumped back over .400 for the third time in four seasons. For his career, over 30% of his hits go for extra bases. He's interesting, especially to a shortstop strapped team like the Cardinals, to say the least.

Yoshihiro Maru is a 25 year old left-handed hitting, right-handed throwing outfielder in the Japan Central League. I saw his stats last year as he was breaking out - with a .376 OBP and .425 SLG. He hit over 10 HR for the first time last year (14) and had 82 runs and 58 RBI in 601 PAs. This year through 314 PAs, Maru has broken out even more with a .401 OBP and .498 SLG. He already has scored 54 runs and driven in 34 - with 10 HR to his name just 71 games into the year. Over 35% of his hits have gone for extra bases.

Tetsuto Yamada is another Japan Central League SS I took note of after 2013. Last year he hits .283/.354/.357/.711 with 39 BB to 37 K as a 20 year old. This year is his age 21 season, and through 70 games has hit .328/.409/.514/.923 with 10 homers, 22 doubles, 48 runs, 41 RBI, and 38 BB to 44 K. Quite incredible. Please go after this kid.

Tomoyuki Sugano is a Japan Central League pitcher (righty) that needs to be talked about. 2013 was his first year in professional baseball and he started 26 out of 27 games played, averaging over 6.5 innings per start, with a 4.19 K:BB and 1.153 WHIP. This year, he has averaged nearly 7.5 innings per start and has a 3.56 K:BB, 1.075 WHIP, and 3 CG in 15 starts. His ERA is all the way down at 2.10 - in a league that had a 3.72 ERA in 2013. He is just 24 years old this season.

Kodai Senga is a right-handed reliever in the Japan Pacific League - the better pitcher's league in Japan. Last year he threw over 56 innings in 51 appearances and struck out 13.6 per 9 to 4.2 BB/9. His WHIP of 1.030 really caught my eye as well. This year, he's decided to one-up himself (at just 21 years old - time to grab him!) and drop his WHIP to 0.971 - mainly by cutting his BB rate. His K/9:BB/9 this year is 11.1:2.0!

Takahiro Norimoto is another young right-hander in the Japan Pacific League. He's just 23 years of age and is in his second year of starting. Last year he averaged over 6.5 innings per start and this year he's already over 7.4 innings per start - 22 outs per game out of a 23-year old starter! Any way, he had an incredible 1.135 WHIP last year that has dropped precipitously to 0.955 in 2014. His good K:BB of 2.63 from last year has jumped to a great K:BB in 2014 of 5.94! He's striking out over 8 guys per 9 innings. Mozeliak - if you read this, please drop everything you're doing, grab a translator, and call the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles right now.

Those are 9 players to keep an eye on. I hope we get to see what they can do in the majors at some point...see how good I am at this stats to scouting thing.

Ben (stlfan)

If interested - see/comment on note here on Facbeook.

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