Hideki Matsui

Fantasy Baseball Hitter Vladimir Guerrerro

Fantasy baseball player profile - Hideki Matsui.

Hideki Matsui is one of my favorite players in the majors, even if he does play for the Yankees. I mean, you have to like any guy with the nickname "Godzilla". They say the name was given by his Japanese fans as much for his rough features as for his hitting power.

Hideki Matsui is a natural fit for the Yankees. He played for the Yomiuri Giants, the Tokyo-based team which is known as the Japanese New York Yankees. Hideki Matsui loves the spotlight and he's been playing for a big time franchise since he was a teen.

There are other things to like about this guy. He's played in 1,768 consecutive pro games to start his career, ended only when he missed a large part of the 2006 season.

Reliability has long been a key word with Hideki Matsui. His numbers aren't the best in the majors, but he's been highly dependable. You can pencil him in for a .300 average with 30 HRs and 100 RBIs, making Matsui a solid complementary player on any fantasy roster.

Matsui prospers from hitting 6th in the Yankees line-up. After a pitcher faces Damon, Jeter, Abreu, A-Rod and Giambi, it's only natural to let up a little bit on the guys towards the bottom of the order. Of course, batting 6th means that Matsui will get fewer at-bats throughout the season. If he batted 4th, like he would in many major league lineups, Matsui's HR and RBI totals would be higher.

The Golden Players Club and Hideki Matsui

Hideki Matsui - Fantasy BaseballIn Japan, pro players who record 2,000 hits, 200 wins or 250 saves are inducted into the Golden Players Club. The club is an informal kind of Hall of Fame based purely on stats. Too bad the States don't have something like that. We could induct all the steroid-tainted players into our Players Club and leave the untainted players for the Hall of Fame. Apparently, the Players Club recognizes achievements in the Majors, because Matsui only got his 2,000th professional hit as a Yankee.

Matsui is hitting .273 with 10 HRs and 50 RBIs right now. That projects to 21 HRs and 106 RBIs. That's a lower home run total than I would have expected. I'm assuming that's a product of Matsui's coming back from injury for the first time in his career. At 33, his skills shouldn't be eroding just yet.

I expect to see Godzilla catch fire later this summer. Expect to see his batting average and home run total increase in the second half of 2007 as Matsui plays himself into form.

Posted July 7, 2007.

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