Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pacific Rim

TR Sullivan has a few notes on Texas' Pacific Rim operations from JD that include what seems to be a candid admission that those operations were really only up par until after the 2008 season, which I've noted on previous occasions. Jim Colborn was hired on as the director of those operations in the winter of 2007 and two inauspicious PR signings were made during his watch: Fazuo Fukumori and Tae-Kyung Ahn. Both players were (are, in the case of TKA, as he is still in the system after 3 years in AZ, but could be a candidate for release this spring) huge busts.

After the 2008 season however, TX was a legitimate player for Junichi Tazawa, losing out to BoSox lustre (and Texas infamy it would seem) rather than BoSox cash when he signed with them in December of that year. Not sure whether TX had hired a few new PR scouts by then but the Tazawa bid would seem to mark the beginning of a restructuring of that program as a point of emphasis at least even if the new hires came later.

As I have also pointed out however, Texas seems to have little interest or presence in the Korean market, which is the main source for high school and college-aged prospects given that the Japanese market is effectively closed. Tawain is a lesser market, but does produce its share of up-the-middle prospects (2b, SS, CF, C). The real indicator of Texas' commitment to PR prospects then will be when they solidify their presence in Korea and try to break the signing monopoly and cultural influence traditionally held by the Cubs.


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