- スポーツ産業学研究 (ISSN:13430688)
- vol.28, no.3, pp.241-256, 2018 (Released:2018-08-02)
The designation of undrafted player started its history in the Nippon Professional Baseball (“NPB”) when the NPB introduced its entry draft for the Japanese amateur players in 1965. The NPB clubs used undrafted players to gain competitive edges while the draft system was to bring competitive balance on the field. Many top amateur players who were supposed to remain amateur signed with the NPB teams as undrafted players, to many people’ s surprise. The NPB clubs often put undrafted players outside of the roster as practice players. 1990 was the year when historical changes were made to the entry draft system in the NPB. The NPB expanded the number of draft picks and the roster while it banned the teams from signing amateur players as free agents. Carrying practice players was outlawed at the same time. The demand for another development system had been growing among NPB clubs with the number of industrial league teams diminishing and players losing opportunities to play. That is how the developmental player system was born in 2005. 2005 was also the year the first independent league in Japan was born, in Shikoku Island. As of 2018, 17 teams, in three leagues, are active. There has been a steady increase in the number of independent league players who were picked in the developmental draft. As the birth of the developmental player system and the independent league happened to be in the same year, both took their roots in the diminishing of the number of industrial league teams and in the players’ losing opportunities to play. Another significance of this study lies in the fact that a list of all Japanese players who signed with the NPB teams since the first draft is databased in a spreadsheet.