South KoreaSeoul American Falcons 2014 Far East Tournament finish — Sixth.Coach — Dean Florio, second season.Key performers — Daniel Salazar, OF; Isaac Rodriguez, Fr.Outlook — The mother of all rebuilding jobs. Falcons’ top seven players either transferred to the States or graduated, including Florio’s entire pitching and catching staff. Only four players with any high-school experience. Hitting quotient is unknown at this point, and Florio says the Falcons may have to rely on small ball and aggressive baserunning, and hoping one of his young arms steps up.
OkinawaKadena Panthers 2014 Far East Tournament finish — Runner-up for the fourth time in five years.Coach — David Compton, third season; Boe Roberts, second season.Key performers — Justin Sego, Sr., P-SS; Justin Wilson, So., P-SS; John McBain, Sr., CF-P; Kota Manning, Sr., 2B; Cody Sego, Fr., C; Nolan Adameic, Fr., C; Nathan Duenas, So., LF-P-IF (transferred from California).Outlook — Contending, trying to end that run of four Far East D-I title-game defeats. Strong up the middle. Replacing departed pitchers Dominic and Devin Shea and catcher Cody Prince will be issues; Panthers will rely on two freshmen to split catching duty.Kubasaki Dragons 2014 Far East Tournament finish — Third.Coach — Randy Toor, 10th season.Key performers — Mark Ebarle, Sr., P-1B; Hunter Hankins, Sr., 3B; Kristian Palmer, Jr., CF-P; Hunter Chipman, Fr., SS-P; DeCurtis Davis, Jr., P.Outlook — Rebuilding. The group that earned two championships and last year’s third-place finish has graduated. Toor is fielding 16 players, but they’re mostly freshmen. Taking a chance that Davis, who quarterbacked the football team, can translate those skills to the mound. Will likely take a pitching-by-committee approach, though, with so many young arms.
JapanNile C. Kinnick Red Devils 2014 Far East Tournament finish — Fourth.Coach — Chad Stark, third season.Key performers — Bradley Burt, Jr., C; Chris McDonald, Sr., 1B; Chris Deibel, Jr., P; Kacey Walker, Fr., P-C; Ethan Husmann, Fr., P; Deshon Morris, So., OF (missed last season due to illness).Outlook — Rebuilding. First time since 2011 the Red Devils will take the field without a pitcher named Ross (Daniel and Donald) on the mound. Good arms otherwise, but likely five freshmen in the starting lineup.Division II
JapanYokota Panthers 2014 Far East Tournament finish — First season in Division II (fifth in D-I last year).Coach — Steven Ferch, Shannon Laliberte, third seasons.Key performers — Leo Austin, Sr., P-SS-3B; Jacob Mansberger, Jr., CF-P-1B; Jack Malone, Sr., LF-P-1B (transferred from Houston); Easton Gladue, Jr., 2B-OF (transferred from Denver).Outlook — Contending for Division II title. Most core players are returning, Malone and Gladue played travel ball and were all-district players in the States and there are several freshmen who could contribute immediately, Laliberte said.Robert D. Edgren Eagles 2014 Far East Tournament finish — Third.Coach — Brett Lehner, eighth season (assisted by Steven Bennett).Key performers — William Appel, Sr., 3B; Isaac Victorino, Sr., 1B-P.Outlook — Rebuilding. Young team with little experience, after a run that included back-to-back D-II tournament titles in 2012-13. But those were also considered rebuilding teams that ended up being late-season risers.Zama Trojans 2014 Far East Tournament finish — Defending champion.Coach — Tom Dignan, first season.Key performers — Keiyl Sasano, Jr., P-IF; Lawrence Miner, Jr., C; Keanu Cruz, Jr., P-IF; Jowi DeGuzman, Jr., OF; Michael Quichocho, Jr., OF; Jaron Brown, So., 3B; Jake Bayardo, Sr., SS (transferred from Sierra Vista, Ariz.); Joseph Atkinson, Sr., 1B (ran track last year); Josh Bayardo, Fr., OF.Outlook — Contending for a D-II title repeat. Trojans lost just four players from last year’s championship team, and pitching is this team’s strong suit, along with a solid returning core group and additions of talents from the States and other sports.E.J. King Cobras 2014 Far East Tournament finish — Fourth.Coaches — Sajiahmad Abbushi, second season.Key performers — Tyler Hicks, Jr., C; John Coleman, Jr., 2B; William Martin, So., 3B; Kyle Szostkiewicz, So., LF; Bryce Szerlag, Jr., P; Tyler Lamson, Sr., 1B; Eric Vega, Sr., C-2B; Akeem Asberry, Sr., C; Hokuto Breyette, So., C-1B; Carlos Thompson, Jr., SS; Ivan Encinias, Fr., SS; Sebastian Alvarez, Fr., 2B; Tyler Johnson, So., CF.Outlook — Reloading. Abbushi is back for his second tenure as coach and says his charges each bring skill, talent and determination.Matthew C. Perry Samurai Coach — Frank Macias, third season. 2014 Far East Tournament performance — Runner-up.Key performers — Austin Macias, Jr., 1B-P; Peace Gates, So., P-SS (transferred from Japanese school in Hiroshima); Cullen Waugh, So., P-SS; Garrett Macias, Fr., C-P.Outlook — Contending for the D-II title. Only one senior on the team, Laramie Billups, and mostly juniors and sophomores, but eight players return from last year’s D-II runner-up team, including three all-tournament players.
South KoreaDaegu Warriors Coach — Ken Walter, first season.Key performers — Tyler Pak, Jr., IF-P; Johnathan Evans, Jr., IF-P; Ethan Truman, So., IF-P (transferred from California); Tommy Kazierczak, So., IF-P (transferred from California); David Messinger, So., C-OF (transferred from Pennsylvania); Josh McCaw, Jr., IF-P (transferred from Virginia); Michael Martinez, Fr., OF-P; Devin Speights, Fr., OF; Royce Oshiro, Fr., IF.Outlook — Rebuilding-reloading. Plenty of potential and a big turnout of 22 players, but only one senior; Walter expects to start three freshmen and three sophomores. Working on becoming solid in all phases of the game by the time Far East comes along.Osan Cougars Coach — Don Tusha, first season.Key performers — Mike Hardin, Sr., P; Brandon Perez, Jr., 2B; Alec Smith, Sr., LF; Wesley Hardin, Fr., SS; Aaron Misner, Jr., 1B (transferred from the States); Bryce Nuese, C.Outlook — Rebuilding-reloading. Good defense up the middle and solid pitching; the big question will be offensive production. Tusha believes that, plus being aggressive on the basepaths and manufacturing runs, will help Cougars compete with anybody.Humphreys Blackhawks Coach — Sun Choe, first season.Key performers — Carlos Hernandez, Sr., 2B-P; Joshua Finch, So., UT; Braxton Long, So., C; Jason Bedwell, Fr., P-IF; Omar Lopez, Fr., UT; Matthew Whiting, Fr., UT; Taylor Marriott, Fr, UT.Outlook — Still in the early stages of starting up, in the school’s second full year.