Fukudome is one of the better athletes playing in Japan. He is capable of playing center field and right field. He is a five-tool player capable of hitting in the middle of the batting order or in the number two spot. During the middle of the 2007 season he was hit by a pitch and missed the remainder of the season. A new rule in Japan gives players on the disabled list time served towards their free agency rights, and this makes Fukudome a free agent.
The 30-year old Fukudome is a championship player capable of performing under pressure situations, so this means he should be able to play in bigger markets in MLB. Just like with American-born players, some Japanese players can handle the bigger markets (Hideki Matsui, Daisuke Matsuzaka) while others can’t (Kaz Matsui, Hideki Irabu).
Scouts Rating (The scouts rating evaluates a player’s raw tools on a 20-80 scale. Albert Pujols, for reference, rates a 75.)
Player Category “GOOD”
Good stuff. Now some fun projections that I found interesting:
Projected MLB Stats
When evaluating the 2007 MLB line-ups, Fukudome could bat fifth in the line-up for 11 of the 30 teams. He projects to the following:
Projections courtesy of iScouts, Inc 2007