Top 100 Prospects: By The Tools
The 25th Anniversary edition of the Top 100 Prospects list continues the rich history of the definitive list of baseball’s up and coming talent. For this year’s list, we’ve broken […]
From the 2005 Baseball America Prospect Handbook
While serving as the cornerstone of manager Sadaharu Oh's Fukuoka powerhouse in Japan, Iguchi eyed the challenge of playing in America, coming close to deals as a "posted'' free agent before saying sayanora as a true free agent this winter. He signed a two-year, $4.95 million deal that includes a $2.3 million salary for 2005 and a $3.25 million club option for 2007. A four-time all-star in eight Pacific League seasons, Iguchi won three Gold Gloves and two stolen-base titles. He consistently has hit for power and took a huge jump as a hitter in the last two seasons. Few second basemen are as athletic or as complete a player as Iguchi. He uses his power to drive in runs and his speed to score them. He always killed lefthanders in Japan and became dangerous against righties as well. Iguchi is an unusually surehanded fielder with average range. He totaled 22 errors in three seasons after moving from shortstop to second base. Iguchi's only liability is his arm, which hasn't been the same since a shoulder injury in 2002. That forced his move from shortstop and leaves him below average turning the double play. Countryman Shingo Takatsu took over as their closer last season, and the White Sox think Iguchi could make a greater impact. He could be a rare 20-20 second baseman and a Rookie of the Year contender. Unlike Hideki Matsui and Kaz Matsui, he played in a pitcher's park in Japan and moves to a hitter's paradise. Willie Harris could take some at-bats away against tough righthanders, but Iguchi should claim the bulk of Chicago's playing time at second base.