38-Year-Old Second Baseman – Free Agent
2014 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Kazuo Matsui in 2014. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Kazuo Matsui Contract Information:
Signed a minor league contract with the Rockies in May 2010.
Matsui has reached an agreement to play for the Rakuten Eagles in Japan, the Kyodo news service reports.
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|2006 (Multiple Teams)||30||MAJ||COL/NYM||70||265||243||32||65||18||12||3||3||26||10||1||16||46||4||2||0||.267||.310||.379||.689|
|Career (View All)||630||2,555||2,302||330||615||176||124||20||32||211||102||18||179||403||47||16||11||.267||.321||.380||.701|
Kazuo Matsui: MLB Games Played By Position
Kazuo Matsui Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
|Year||Age||Lg||Tm||PA||AB||Walk Rate||Strikeout Rate||BB/K Ratio||Contact Rate||BABIP||Isolated Power|
|2006 (Multiple Teams)||30||MAJ||COL/NYM||265||243||6%||17.4%||0.35||81%||.320||.112|
Kazuo Matsui: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Kazuo Matsui.
Former Astros manager Cecil Cooper made a concerted effort to keep Matsui healthy in 2009, allowing him frequent days off and taking every little bump and bruise to the 33-year-old second baseman seriously. Cooper managed to get an extra 100 at-bats out of Matsui, but it came at a price: a 43-point drop in batting average and an OPS south of .660, his most disappointing production since his time with the Mets. On any other team, he would be just a versatile reserve infielder, but on the 2010 Astros he'll be a starter again.
Matsui spent a little less than half the season on the DL with a variety of ailments (back, hamstring, groin, anal fissure), but was very productive when healthy. He hit .293 with a .354 on-base percentage, six homers, 26 doubles, 33 RBI and 20 steals in 25 chances in 375 at-bats. The song remains the same with Matsui; if he could ever stay healthy for an entire season, he’d be towards the top of the second base rankings. Unfortunately, he’s never played more than 114 games in a season during his career so it’s incredibly risky to bank on him staying off the DL.
Matsui finally put it all together in 2007. He had career-highs in batting average (.288) and stolen bases (32-of-36), but played in just 104 games because of hamstring and chronic back troubles. The Astros signed Matsui to a three-year deal in December, while it's important to note that Matsui hit .330 at Coors Field and only .249 on the road. Even with the hitter-friendly confines of Minute Maid Park, the home-road splits and his injury problems are legitimate concerns. That said, he'll be a part of a potent lineup for the second straight season and should be able to produce a similar number of steals and runs scored given the talent around him.
Matsui was pretty much a $20 million bust for the Mets, but he appeared to resurrect his career with the Rockies after a June trade. For Colorado, he batted .345/.392/.504 with eight stolen bases in 113 at-bats. He's likely to open the season as the Rockies' leadoff hitter and Troy Tulowitzki's double-play partner, so there should be at least some short-term fantasy value. It's unrealistic to think he'll maintain an .896 OPS over the course of a full season, but he could be a nice surprise this year, particularly for his stolen base potential.
Matsui's second year in the States might have been even worse than his first, but this time, he could use injuries as a partial excuse for his poor play. A deep bruise on his left knee cost him six weeks in the middle of the season but prior to that, his poor play had him on the bench behind Miguel Cairo. The Mets have been actively pursuing other options at second base, and if that fails, Jeff Keppinger and Anderson Hernandez could get a shot at filling the job out of spring training. Matsui's $8 million tab for 2006 has made it difficult for the team to trade him, and even if he remains on the team and is the starter at second base, his value is minimal in most leagues.
Everyone expected Matsui's numbers to decline coming over from Japan, but no one figured on how precipitous that drop would be. For a good portion of the season, he looked nothing like a seven-time Japanese League All-Star, flailing at pitches on the outer half of the plate and duffing it at shortstop. Just when he started to piece things together, a lower back strain limited him to 41 AB over the last two months of the season. For 2005, Matsui will shift over to second base to make room for Jose Reyes, as it was obvious that Matsui did not have the range or arm to play short. The hope is that he'll make huge strides between his first and second years in pitch recognition and comfort level on and off the field. New manager Willie Randolph will help Matsui get comfortable at second, and he should post better numbers.
Matsui, a 28-year old switch-hitter, was a seven-time All-Star and a three-time Gold Glove winner in Japan, hitting .305 with 33 home runs with 84 RBIs and 13 SB last season for the Seibu Lions, prior to signing a three-year, $20.1M contract with the Mets in December. Matsui has seen a decline in his plate discipline the past three seasons as his strikeouts have risen from 83 to 122 to 124 in 2003, versus only 55 walks last season. Matsui will team with Jose Reyes as a double-play combination as well as the 1-2 hitters at the top of the Mets lineup. Matsui's power numbers will decline, especially in a pitcher's park like Shea Stadium, but he should post solid numbers in runs and steals.
Playing for Japan's Seibu Lions in 2003, Matsui hit .305/.365/.549 (.914 OPS) in 140 games, with 33 home runs, 84 RBI, and 13 steals. Matsui struck out 124 times in 2003 while drawing 55 walks. Matsui's numbers are down significantly from 2002 (.332/.389/.617, 1.006 OPS, 36 HR, 33 steals), but in line with his career numbers prior to 2002. (FYI, Matsui turns 28 in October of 2003.) Here's an ominous note: Matsui struck out 93 times in his first full season in 1996, then did better than that in each of the next five seasons. However, his strikeout totals have now gone from 83 in 2001, to 112 in 2002, and then 124 in 2003. Here are Matsui's career stats in Japan through the 2003 season, from japanesebaseball.com.