Akinori Iwamura
40-Year-Old Second Baseman2B
 Free Agent  Foreign
2019 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Akinori Iwamura in 2019. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Iwamura signed a deal for 2013 with the Yakult Swallows in December of 2012.
2BFree Agent  F
December 11, 2012
Iwamura has signed a deal for 2013 with the Yakult Swallows, the Kyodo news service reports.
ANALYSIS
Iwamura hit just .190 with one homer and 14 RBI in 103 games with the Rakuten Eagles as he struggled with a calf injury. The former MLB player looks set to finish his career in Japan.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2010
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The breakout season from Ben Zobrist coupled with the addition of Sean Rodriguez made Iwamura expendable for the Rays. He spent most of last season on the DL after suffering a partially torn ACL from a hard slide by Chris Coghlan. It was expected that he would miss the entire season, but he returned in late August. He displayed no ill effects from the knee injury and will take over second-base duties for the Pirates. Ultimately, Iwamura isn't going to hurt you in any categories, but he's not going to be a difference maker either.
The Rays asked Iwamura to move from third base to second after the 2007 season, and his successful transition was a key factor in the club's 2008 turnaround. Iwamura's batting line actually dropped a bit in his second year in the majors (losing more than 40 points of OPS), but the Rays more than made up for that offense when Evan Longoria replaced Iwamura at third base. Iwamura faded a bit down the stretch, hitting just .242 in September; and between the World Series and the World Baseball Classic, he won't have much of an offseason, so a slow start is possible.
As expected, Iwamura's home-run power dropped quite a bit in the move from Japan, but everything else went well, as Iwamura showed on-base ability, gap power and great defense at third base. Iwamura did go into a tailspin right after the break (.644 OPS in his first 35 games in the second half), but he finished strong (.293, .832 OPS in his last 36 games). The Rays will try to move Iwamura to second base in spring training to clear room for prospect Evan Longoria at third. That's a tough transition, going against the grain of the defensive spectrum, but the Rays think Iwamura has the range and throwing arm to pull it off.
Iwamura has been Japan's best third baseman over the past few seasons, both offensively and defensively. He hit .311/.388/.543 in 145 games last year, with 32 HR, eight SB on nine attempts, and a 128:70 K:BB in 546 AB. Iwamura has hit 106 homers over the past three seasons. That power likely won't translate well to the majors since his home park in Japan had a very short rightfield porch, but in a gap-friendly park like Tropicana Field, expect Iwamura to put up good batting and on-base averages. His defense will also help the Rays' pitchers tremendously, whether he plays at third base or second.
Iwamura, a left-handed slugger who turned 27 in February, is considered the best third baseman in Japan at the moment. He hit .320/.390/.556 in 2005, with 29 homers in 137 games (down from the 44 he hit in 2004). He won't be able to leave Japan of his own accord until after the 2007 season, but he's one to watch in keeper leagues.
More Fantasy News
Akinori Iwamura: Back to Japan
2BFree Agent  F
November 13, 2010
Iwamura has a basic agreement in place with the Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan, NBPTracker.com reports.
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Akinori Iwamura: Released by Oakland
2BFree Agent  F
October 4, 2010
Iwamura was released by the A's on Monday, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
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2BOakland Athletics  F
September 22, 2010
Iwamura and Kevin Kouzmanoff will alternate starts this week against lefty/righty starters, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
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2BOakland Athletics  F
September 21, 2010
Iwamura was not in the Athletics' lineup Tuesday, the Contra Costa Times reports.
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2BOakland Athletics  F
September 14, 2010
Iwamura made his A's debut on Monday, drawing a walk and scoring a run in three plate appearances.
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