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Kaz Matsui

Yesterday, I wrote about the Mets' Japanese-import shortstop, Kazuo Matsui:

And while Kazuo Matsui was great in Japan, he's been decidedly average so far in the USA...

which prompted this response from reader Josh Reyer:

Matsui is 3rd among NL shortstops in OPS (844), and 5th among all Major League shortstops with 40 AB or more. He's 2nd in OPB (.402), and 6th in SLG (.441) using the same cut-off. 2nd and 4th respectively in the NL. The current average for OPS for the entire league is 765. For all of 2003 it was 754, with average OPS for starting shortstops (with at least 400 AB) at 747.

Sure, it's early in the season. Matsui may later tank. But right now he's hitting as well as Corey Patterson, and from the shortstop position. The one thing Matsui has not been in this first month is "decidedly average".

To which I responded, OK, but it's definitely "small sample size", only seventeen games.

And that prompted this response from Josh:

I don't want to make it seem like I'm giving you a hard time, but 4 for 8 (1 double) off Greg Maddux and Kerry Wood bringing their A-games is "pretty much nothing"?! I guess you're a "glass-half empty" kinda guy.

I'm kidding, of course. I am certainly not saying Kazuo's performance is representative of how he'll do in the Majors. I really have no idea how the numbers will look when all is said and done. I can imagine him ending with a 750 OPS just as easily as I can an 850 OPS. I'm just referring to his performance "so far", which was what you had written. And of course, whether Matsui has played well or not doesn't really change the main (and correct) point of that section, which is that the Mets line-up sucks, and will suck only marginally less so when Floyd and Reyes return.

Well, exactly. But thanks, Josh. I had also been trying, though apparently badly, to make the point that unlike previous Japanese position player imports Ichiro, and unrelated namesake Hideki Matsui, Kaz Matsui has been almost under the radar so far in his US career.

But that's maybe because the Mets are pretty invisible anyway. Let's hope they stay that way today.