Tokyo Pursues Diamondback Jamie D'Antona

Tokyo this hard-hitting infielder from Arizona.

Tokyo is courting this hard-hitting infielder from Arizona. (Photo courtesy of MLB.)

The Arizona Diamondbacks have reportedly released infielder Jamie D’Antona so that he can pursue a contract with the Tokyo Swallows.

The 26-year-old made his major league debut in July of this year and appears, at least according to his recent triple-A numbers, to have some pop in his bat. He went 3-17 with one RBI for the snakes in 2008.

Power is what the birds need, and hopefully D’Antona can continue his recent surge in form while transitioning to NPB.

He’s not known for his defense, so it appears that he will be a likely candidate for first base.

Here’s hoping that D’Antona is as easy-going as Guiel and Riggs. Welcome to Japan!*

* contract negotiations not yet concluded He is now a Swallow.

About Christopher Pellegrini

Christopher is a budding sabermetrician and long-time supporter of Tokyo's more lovable team, the Swallows. He has publicly volunteered, several times, that he plans to buy the team at some point in the future. When he finally runs the joint, it is likely that he will fine any player who swings at the first pitch or sac bunts (unless it's a pitcher, of course). Follow him on Twitter: @chrispellegrini

  • flick

    Hopefully this dude works out, and hopefully Gael returns to form next year.
    I understand that the Swallows also aquired two lefties, one from Korea and one from the triple A. That would be great for the rotation if they both work out.
    What are your thoughts on the chances of aquiring Ryoji Aikawa via free agency? This team desperately needs a catcher.

  • Christopher Amano-Langtree

    I can’t see MLB going for Aikawa (though you never know) so Swallows should be in with a good chance.

  • I think Guiel I read somewhere that Guiel’s not coming back on the part of outfield being full, but a power bat can be used at first, so hopefully D’Antona works out, he seems to had a breakthrough season in AAA this past season.

  • I like the fact that he’s still only 26. That’s younger than a lot of the guys that come over from MLB.

    One thing that makes me a little nervous, however, is that he doesn’t draw as many walks as his OPS suggests he should.

    Not that a strong OPS automatically implies a specified number of walks per 100 at-bats–but power hitters get pitched around more often than, well, most of the guys in our lineup (theoretically leading to lots of free trips to first), but D’Antona’s numbers seem to suggest a rather free-swinging demeanor at the plate.

    Hopefully I’m wrong about this.

    But then again…looking at it from another angle…Ramirez never walked all that often either. If D’Antona can adjust half as well as Ramirez did (assuming we sign him, of course), then we’ll have plenty to be un-depressed about next season.

    Adding a D’Antona to the lineup that hits .300 (20 hr, 80 rbi) to the lineup probably would have meant playoffs this season (basically the role that Riggs and/or Guiel should have played).

    Assuming similar or better starting pitching next year, if Hatakeyama, Iihara and Tanaka can develop a smidgen of extra power to go with it, then there’s no reason why 2009 can’t be a year that ends with a Climax.

    (sorry, couldn’t resist)

  • So, I guess we’ll be seeing Hatakeyama at 3rd, assuming he shows more promise next season. He played some 3rd base this past season, but I haven’t seen him play there. How’s his defence at 3rd? (Not crucial, but it would be nice to have a decent glove at 3rd.)

  • flick

    Didn’t know they let Guiel go (BTW, sorry for messing up his spelling). I guess since Fukuchi turned out to be such a steal for us, we didn’t really need him, but I will miss his goofy presence on the field. But yeah, a 26 year old “suketto” is very appealing.
    The growth of Hatake, Iihara, and Hiroyasu, as players, is something that I am really looking forward to next season. If they play at a higher level than this year, and if this D’Antona guy works out, and if we sign Aikawa, we will have a pretty strong starting line-up. Lots of “if”s though.

  • Those last two, I think, are the biggest “if”s. I have great confidence in Hatake and Hiroyasu – they’ll do well; Iihara should have been regular for a couple of years now. The OF is good. One question that’ll have my mind is how the left side of the IF will come together.

  • As Chris and flick both say, his age is a very promising factor. He has a chance to play the best years of his career over here and be a real success if he approaches it with the right attitude and application.

    Let’s hope our bumbling front-office can seal the deal.

  • flick

    So apparently the D’Antona signing is a done deal.
    Our front-office is pretty lame, but I have faith in our international scouting. Greisinger and Lim were great for us, and Guiel was very serviceable his first year. Also, hopefully Lee-Hei Chun will be good for the 10 wins he talked about!

  • 10? The braggart. I shall barrack him until he gets 11, after which he’ll be a hero.

  • It appears he’s now put pen to paper.

    Good news.