Neo-Tokyo Draft Review: In Summary

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Updated: April 27, 2014

Tokyo, Japan: December 9, 2019– While the contraction draft filled some gaping holes in the Akira lineup it also upgraded some key roles in both the bullpen and infield.

Top on the list was the selection of SS Christian Ramey, a PEBA refugee recently signed by the Seoul Crushers. He has a solid 3B glove but his high contact/low power makes him more suitable for the SS role. He’ll have to fight it out with incumbent Tsunesaburo Sugimoto for the starting role. Both are signed for significant dollars so it’s likely one may be used as trade bait. Ramey is 2 years younger while Sugimoto is considered better defensively.

The selection that had many Akira faithful buzzing was 3rd round pick Kyuso Yoshida, an up and coming closer who made significant strides in only his first big league season. At league minimum salary for several more years, he could challenge Hisamitsu Osawa for the closer role immediately.

Sakutaru Ishida was another big pick up by NeTo in the draft. A solid bullpen guy who can also spot start, he adds depth to an already deep bullpen. His $8.5 million dollar contract could make him expendable, however.

Before the draft, Neo-Tokyo had huge cash reserves available, intending to make a big splash in the free agent market. The contraction draft added over $30 million dollars in player payroll (not including the additional personnel contracts) that all but negates their ability to sign any big name players. With the major additions from the draft, that may not be necessary. There is still work to do to tweak the final roster that could bring further changes to the team but so far GM Ron Hiscock is confident the organization will be competitive in what will be the final season of the LRS as an independent league.