Japanese stats are for 2019 are up, Central League and Pacific.

The difficulty rating for the leagues are between the values for our AA and AAA leagues – perhaps a little closer to AA, but definitely in between.

Parks in the JPL tend to be pretty neutral overall. They all have a three-year average between 956 (Chiba) and 1039 (Seibu). Rakuten was an unusually strong pitchers park this year.

2019 CHB Chiba_Lotte_     961 956 JPL
2019 FKU SoftBank____   1018 999 JPL
2019 NIP Hokkaido_NH_ 1002 994 JPL
2019 ORX Orix________     990 992 JPL
2019 RAK Rakuten_____    925 972 JPL
2019 SEI Seibu_______    1029 1039 JPL

In the Central League, the Y teams – Yakult, Yokohama, and Yomiuri – tend to be hitters parks. The remainder – Hiroshima, Hanshin, and Chunichi – tend to be pitchers parks. All played true in 2019.

2019 CHU Chunichi____    958 942 JCL
2019 HNS Hanshin_____   952 940 JCL
2019 HRO Hiroshima___  986 985 JCL
2019 YKL Yakult______    1034 1071 JCL
2019 YKO Yokohama____ 1024 1029 JCL
2019 YOM Yomiuri_____  1076 1036 JCL

The top hitters in Japan were both quite young. In the Central League, 24-year-old Seiya Suzuki led with a .347 Equivalent Average untranslated (20 points ahead of anyone else), and 124 Equivalent Runs. That’s good for a translated .303. The performance was consistent with what he’s done for the past several years – he looks like the clear offensive leader of the country.

In the Pacific, the top translated EQA went to 23-year-old Tomoya Mori, who came in at .297 (.328 untranslated). In an oddity, the real EQA and EQR titles went to Masataka Yoshida, whose real stats were .332/114…but dropped to .293 in the translation. The translations don’t run straight from the EqA line – power, strikeouts, and batting average all adjust at different (but related) rates. Just 25 himself, Yoshida is also a repeat performer at these levels.

My picks for top pitcher in the Pacific League would probably come down to either Kohei Arihara (Nippon) or Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix) or Kodai Senga (Fukuoka). Arihara led the league with a 15-8 record and 65 Runs Above Replacement. Yamamoto, just 20, led the league with a 1.95 ERA and had 64 RAR. Senga had a league-leading 227 strikeouts – the 2nd place guy, Arihara, was at 161 – and also 64 RAR. Those three also have the best translations.

Top marks in the Central go, marginally for me, to Yudai Ono (Chunichi) for his 67 RAR. Four other pitchers are pretty close behind them with Shun Yamaguchi (Yomiuri) the one who has the best traditional stats (15-4 and 188 Ks led the league, his 2.91 ERA was third).

Unlike the American majors this year, with very sharp split between haves and have-nots, the Japanese leagues were rather well-balanced. The best team in the league, Seibu, went 80-62-1; expanded to 162 games, that’s only 91. Yakult was the worst team, at 59-82-2; that’s more than the Tigers, Orioles, Marlins, or (counting the ties) Royals won, despite playing 19 fewer games. Fukuoka, despite having just the third-best record in the league, stormed through the playoffs and swept Yomiuri in the finals to win the Climax Series.

Working on Korean stats for 2017-19 – they should be up this week.

Also working on 2020 projections. Hitters are just about done; the projections should be passing through to the individual player pages within another day. I’m still working on the pitcher settings – they’re at least a week or two away.

 

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