29-Year-Old Second Baseman – Free Agent
2014 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Tsuyoshi Nishioka in 2014. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Tsuyoshi Nishioka Contract Information:
Nishioka signed a contract with the Hanshin Tigers in November of 2012.
Nishioka has signed a contract with the Hanshin Tigers, the Kyodo news service reports.
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Tsuyoshi Nishioka: MLB Games Played By Position
Tsuyoshi Nishioka Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Tsuyoshi Nishioka: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Tsuyoshi Nishioka.
Minnesota signed Nishioka from Japan (where he'd won a batting title) before the 2011 season and saw him as a future starting infielder while trading J.J. Hardy in the process. That decision went about as bad as possible as Hardy flourished in Baltimore and Nishioka didn't look like a major league player in the field or at the plate. Nishioka's season started off poorly as he broke his leg while turning a double play in the team's sixth game. He began the season at second base, but moved to shortstop when he returned from the DL two months later. However, Nishioka struggled in the field with 10 errors in 60 games at shortstop and had limited range. He also looked overmatched at the plate as he slugged just .249, had just five extra-base hits (all doubles) and didn't draw walks. He also didn't run much with just two stolen bases (which was supposed to be his biggest fantasy asset). The Twins have said they'll give Nishioka a shot to win the starting shortstop job this spring, but he most likely will spend much of the season at Triple-A. It's possible he was simply overwhelmed in his first year in the U.S., but he was so unproductive that it wouldn't be a surprise if he's back in Japan before the end of his three-year contract.
Nishioka will take over as the starting second baseman or shortstop for the Twins after coming over from Japan. Minnesota won his rights via the posting system with NPB for a reported $5.3 million bid. He's a speedy contact hitter who is coming off a great year in Japan where he hit .346/.423/.482 with 206 hits (second most in a season in the Pacific League, after Ichiro's 210 in 1994), and finished third in the Pacific League MVP voting. However, he does come over with some risks. Last season was also the first year of his career that Nishioka was consistently healthy. Last season may have also been his peak as he was just a .293/.364/.423 career hitter in Japan. And while he has speed, he hasn't had a great success rate stealing bases (just 66 percent) and after swiping 41 bases in 2005, he hasn't had more than 30 the past five years. Although Nishioka's power has been on the rise over the last three seasons, most Japanese batters that come over slug less in MLB than they do in NPB. Still, Assuming he stays healthy, it's reasonable to expect Nishioka to provide some offense from a middle-infield position. Don't expect much in the way of power, but he'll contribute a solid batting average and score runs as he's likely to hit No. 2 in the order ahead of Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. Although he played shortstop in Japan, most scouts think he's a better fit for second base in MLB. The Twins will decide this spring if he's best at second base or shortstop, but he'll have a starting job either way.