Infielder Kazuo Matsui was a star in Japan, finishing with over 2,000 hits and a .291 batting average. He was signed by the Mets at a time when Japanese ballplayers were novel and new and making waves—it was the era of Ichiro Suzuki, Hideki Matsui (no relation) and Kaz Sasaki. New York tried their hand at a few, inking the likes of Masato Yoshii, Tsuyoshi Shinjo and Satoru Komiyama. But those were half steps; the Mets hadn’t yet dipped into the pool of Japanese superstars. Until Matsui.
He ended up hitting .256 in 239 games with New York.
I found this little blurb hiding in one of my folders. I wrote it when I was 15 or so.
Kaz Matsui: Was he a waste, or is it just me?
Mets fans, you may like this article. Any others … well … you may not really care.
Now, as many of you know (or not), I’m a big Mets fan. They are the team I follow the most. I watch their games. I read up on their statistics. And when I see a Met not living up to our expectations, it hurts. It really does.
And, Kaz Matsui is really not living up to our expectations. He was supposed to be an Ichiro-esque player, and he has—it’s a struggle for me to say this—not.
Now, I know it takes some people a few years to become acclimated to the Major League Baseball style, but you don’t have those few years when you’re a 27-year-old rookie! You should be in, or at least entering, your prime by now. And now, Kaz is hitting .230 on the season.
And it’s not just the fact that his average is low, either. Matsui has not shown the power or speed abilities that he showed over in Japan. What happened to 36 home run Kaz Matsui? Where did 62 stolen base Kaz go? My bet is they went with his health, which has not been very good these past two years.
I know he’s been hurt, but that really can’t be an excuse, because when he’s healthy, he not showing anything either.
Well, I’ve ranted long enough. Kaz just isn’t doing what he’s supposed to be doing. That’s all right.
Jeff Keppinger will be ready to take over his spot any year now.
Coincidentally, Keppinger never had much of an impact with the Mets, spending only 33 games with the club in 2004.