Watching So Taguchi playing comfortably as a 4th outfielder with the Cardinals has got me thinking about the Mets' abysmal failures scouting Japanese position players.
In the last few years we've seen the Mets import Tsuyoshi Shinjo, a player who initially looked a lot like Taguchi, but never learned to hit even acceptably in the major leagues, and Kazuo Matsui, about whom we've all heard enough already, so suffice it to say he's not the impact major-league middle infielder his salary would have suggested. Meanwhile, many other organizations have had outstanding successes: not just the obvious Ichiro and Hideki Matsui, but also Tadahito Iguchi and the aforementioned So Taguchi. The only big busts in the group are the Mets' picks. It's enough to make me thankful that Norihiro Nakamura was never imported as the replacement for Alfonzo at 3B, but with all the talk about the Mets making a run at catcher Kenji Jojima, I'm starting to get nervous. Perhaps the Minaya administration will save us from this mistake by making a comparable mistake on a Latino catcher? I don't have the organizational knowledge I need to answer this -- but someone, please tell me the Mets have recently fired their Japanese scouts.