Kosuke Fukudome
Kosuke Fukudome
42-Year-Old OutfielderOF
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2019 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Kosuke Fukudome in 2019. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Fukudome signed a three-year deal with the Hanshin Tigers in December of 2012.
OFFree Agent  
December 26, 2012
Fukudome will sign a three-year deal with the Hanshin Tigers, the Kyodo news service reports.
Fukudome spent most of last season at Triple-A. At age 36 next season, it looks like he'll finish his career in Japan.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Fukudome gave the Indians a warm body in the outfield after a midseason trade, but didn't give them the OBP boost they desperately needed. He hit .262/.342/.370 between the Cubs and Indians with just eight homers and that's a pretty good indication of his current skill set. The Indians' decision to bring back Grady Sizemore should end any talk of Fukudome returning as a free agent. He'll latch on somewhere but he may have to settle for a reserve role or at least a platoon where he will avoid lefties (career .692 OPS).
While Fukudome hasn't justified the hype leading up to his 2008 signing, he hasn't been a complete bust, either. Over the last two seasons he's gotten on base at a .371 and .375 clip, respectively, slugged .439 and .421, played decent defense from a corner outfield spot and even spent time in center in 2009. Now in the last year of his deal, there's a decent chance the Cubs move him to open up full-time at-bats for Tyler Colvin, and eventually prospect Brett Jackson. For the time being, he's likely to start in right field, but yield frequently to Colvin. Low double-digit homers and a handful of steals are a good bet.
Fukudome's 2009 was a slight improvement over his rookie year - he boosted his walk rate and on-base percentage (.375) and added a few more doubles to slug .421. That's pretty good for a stellar defensive center fielder, but Fukudome is average at best at the position and will be moved back to right this year where even an on-base heavy .800 OPS is subpar, especially for a player getting $12 million a year. There's also a chance the Cubs sit him against lefties, but his contract and on-base skills assure him 450-plus at-bats so long as he maintains his 2009 level.
Fukudome's first season in the majors started off well enough with an .837 April OPS and stellar defense in right field. But his production declined as the year went on - he posted a meager .217/.314/.326 line in 175 at-bats after the All-Star break and was eventually benched. Heading into 2009, Fukudome's lucrative four-year deal ensures him some at-bats, though with Milton Bradley's arrival, Fukudome will likely get them in center field in the bigger half of a platoon with Reed Johnson. Given that Fukudome managed 10 homers and 12 steals despite his miserable second half and that he will hit in one of the National League's best lineups, he's probably a good gamble on draft day, as he's likely to come cheap.
Fukudome, who started in center field for Japan at the 2006 WBC, won the batting title and MVP honors for Chunichi that season, hitting .351 with 31 homers in 130 games. However, in 2007, he went on the DL in July with an elbow injury and underwent season-ending surgery in August (.294/.443/.520, 13 homers in 81 games). Fukudome is expected to be ready for spring training. He'll remind you somewhat of Ichiro, with better on-base skills but less gap power. (He doesn't run much, averaging less than ten steals a year the last five seasons.) Defensively, he's better suited to play a corner outfield spot, and Cubs are penciling him in as their everyday right fielder after signing him in December.
More Fantasy News
OFFree Agent  
December 16, 2012
Fukudome announced he will play in Japan in 2013, the Kyodo news service reports. He's in contract talks with the DeNA BayStars and the Hanshin Tigers.
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OFFree Agent  
November 5, 2012
Three teams in Japan (the Hanshin Tigers, Chunichi Dragons and the DeNA BayStars) are interested in signing Fukudome, the Kyodo news service reports.
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OFFree Agent  
September 3, 2012
The Yankees released Fukudome on Monday, Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's Director of Media Relations Mike Vander Woude reports.
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OFNew York Yankees  
July 13, 2012
Fukudome was signed to a minor league deal and assigned to Triple A-Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Friday, reports Marc Carig of The Star-Ledger.
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OFChicago White Sox  
June 26, 2012
Fukudome was released by the White Sox on Tuesday, according to ESPNChicago.
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