This was actually buried at the bottom of the last Ken Rosenthal article I linked to, but I felt like it needed its own post. Here is Rosenthal reporting on what a scout told him about Hiroyuki Nakajima, the Japanese infielder the Yankees recently won the rights to negotiate with after a $2.5 million bid:
A rival scout who covers Japan also praised Nakajima’s makeup, saying the infielder displayed the same kind of will and toughness as former Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui, one of the most successful Japanese position players to appear in the majors.
“This kid wants to play baseball,” the scout said. “He’s not going to take Jeter’s place, but he’s capable of being an everyday shortstop in the big leagues.”
The scout projects Nakajima as a .270-.280 hitter who will drive in runs and use his instincts to steal bases, despite being a below-average runner. He lacks arm strength at short, but has great hands, very good range to his left and hangs in on the double play, the scout said.
Sounds like a solid bench piece, whom the Yankees are exploring a sign-and-trade with.