New Batch of Talent

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Updated: August 20, 2019

New Batch of Talent
July 1, 2029
Toyama Wind Dancers Blog

With the 2029 Draft all wrapped up, the Toyama Wind Dancers officially signed all 15 of their picks. A team currently in a rebuild, the WinD’s focused early picks on the college-level talent that would match up with the current core of prospects in their early 20’s.

As top players began quickly flying off of Toyama’s draft board in the first round, the Wind Dancers were fortunate that their number 1 slipped to the 7th overall pick. 21-year-old catcher Kevin Newton joined the team out of Tulane where he was a 3-time all-star and is fresh off of winning the Platinum Stick award at his position, his 2nd in a row. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound righty put up huge numbers in his 4 years with the Jade Breakers hitting .347 with 42 HR, 117 RBI’s, and a career 15.5 WAR. Newton has projected talent across the board with the ability to hit for power or contact as well as get on base. Add in a solid framework behind the mask and natural leadership qualities and Newton oozes potential which saw him get placed on the top 100 prospects list at #9 immediately upon signing. The Washington DC native will spend the rest of 2029 with Single-A Takaoka as he gets used to professional ball, a tough task considering the reputation of the “hitter’s hell” that is The Shrine.

The Toyama board was buzzing after their first-round pick but quickly recollected themselves as the 2nd round approached. While Toyama’s list was severely dismantled throughout the 1st round, their 2nd pick of 2029 was another to get excited about. 1B Quentin Hamilton out of Ohio State became the 36th overall pick after another solid season with the Scarlet Brutes. From Bel Air North in Maryland, Hamilton was electrifying in his first 3 seasons with Ohio State before “dipping” a bit in 2029. But a career 10.2 WAR and 64 HR’s all while hitting .317 was too good to ignore along with his 3 all-star selections and a Platinum Stick award in 2028. Despite defensive struggles, Hamilton has plus potential with the bat and is always on tap to belt one over the left-field fence. Patience could be a negative factor for Hamilton but his raw talent could quickly turn him into a future PEBA level 1B/DH.

OF Ashley Lammas was selected in the 3rd round and could be one of the most advanced players in the draft. A .278 hitter with the Atletico Castille Sociedad Deportiva Leones, the 21-year-old Brit can flex anywhere in the outfield and is a tried and true contact hitter. Flexibility is a very important factor in modern-day baseball and Lammas is someone you can plug into the roster and you know what you are going to get. Despite a few nagging injuries in college, Lammas led the Leones to their first playoff appearance in 7 seasons in 2029 and has dominated during his short stay in SS-A this season.

 

Continuing with the trend, Toyama selected another OF in round 4 with CF Dale Harris making his way to the land of the Rising Sun. The Worcester, MA native struggled with the bat in college at West Virginia but his value comes on defense where he put up a career +11.5 ZR at centerfield and had just 5 errors. If his bat can come around he could fight his way into a platoon role with his defensive flexibility.

 

And round out the first 5 picks is SP Maurice Sheelah out of Oxford, selected with Toyama’s second 4th round pick. Sheelah started for 4 seasons with the Dark Blues ending with a 2.47 ERA, 5.9 WAR, 8.6 K/9. Sheelah’s future relies on whether he can develop his 3rd pitch changeup to complement his Fastball/Cut Fastball combo. Despite lacking a true breaking ball, Sheelah has spot starter potential and will provide depth at the very least.

 

 

The final 10 picks finished as follows:

6th Round – RF Zach Oglethorpe

7th Round – RP Ikku Ichihara

8th Round – RP Ken Brown

9th Round – C Ricardo Flores

10th Round – RF Takeo Yamada

11th Round – C Rikiya Abe

12th Round – RP Dan Warren

13th Round – CF Randolph Sanders

14th Round – RP Akihisa Matsuura

15th Round – RP Charles Church