Considering how weak the middle infield market appears to be this offseason, the Minnesota Twins are believed to be interested in a Japanese batting champion.
This according to Minneapolis Star Tribune writer Joe Christensen, who reports that the Twins are expected to make a bid this week on Chiba Lotte Marines shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka. You can watch a video of him at the bottom of this blog post.
Nishioka, 26,Â led the Japanese Pacific League with a .346 batting average and had league highs in hits and total bases. Not bad for a shorstop with a little pop (11 homers) and some speed (once stole 41 bases in a season).
Sounds like an interesting project. I definitely approve of the Twins pursuit of a player like this. Makes me wonder if the Twins were able to get him if they’d let J.J. Hardy walk as a non-tender candidate. I suppose that would depend on how much it would cost to get Nishioka.
Looks like Nishioka would prefer to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers, but that’s out of his control.
Other Twins news this week was Twins third baseman Danny Valencia falling short in the AL Rookie of the Year voting.
Texas Rangers reliever Neftali Feliz won the award.
Here’s the highlight video of Nishioka: