Gurowake

Future prospects to keep an eye on

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There was a long-running feature from Asashosakari with regard to rikishi who had certain combinations of low age and high rank that has been absent for a number of years now.  For some time I have been keeping track of rikishi that meet the following criteria on each banzuke:

Age lower than Rank at least
23 M3
22.5 M10
22 M17
21.5 J7
21 J14
20.5 ms15
20 ms30
19.5 ms45
19 ms60
18.5 sd25
18 sd50
17.5 sd75
17 sd100
16.5 Jd25

Originally I also tracked those not age 16 that were at least Jd50, though I stopped doing that when it was clear that hardly anyone ever met that criteria.  Even the Jonidan criteria here is rarely indicative of much of anything, but there are at least a few people that meet that requirement.  The M17 requirement is not supposed to exclude the possibility of an M18, but the numbers were arrived at before that was ever a thing.  I don't think I'll begrudge counting an M18 under 22 in the M17 category.  The numbers were picked relatively randomly, with an eye on excluding the vast majority of rikishi but still allowing for a dozen or so to show up for each banzuke.

As you may have seen me mention in the past, being able to reach M3 by age 23 is a very good predictor of becoming an Ozeki, as well as a telling sign of failing to make Ozeki if the criteria could have been met but wasn't.   I've used this criteria to suggest that Meisei and Takanosho, for example, while fairly young with KKs at Sekiwake, aren't particularly likely to go on to make Ozeki.  If they were good enough, they would likely have gotten up to the top of Makuuchi a few years earlier than they did.  Of course, since it's impossible for graduated collegiate competitors to make these numbers, collegiates who have made Ozeki are ignored, but it should be noted that Asanoyama and Shodai did reach the top of Makuuchi fairly quickly.  Another that falls into this category in the time frame I've looked at would be Kotomitsuki; like Shodai, he didn't make Ozeki right away, but he did get to the top of Makuuchi quickly.   Every single other Ozeki since Asashoryu has made the criteria, and the non-Ozeki exceptions are Tochiozan, Asasekiyru, most likely Chiyootori (obviously has had injuries and is not nearly on the same level as he was when he made Komusubi), "who knows what would have happened?" for Wakanoho and Osunaarashi, and "the jury's still out" for Ichinojo, Onosho, Kotoshoho, and Hoshoryu.

Now certainly a lot more people have met the other criteria, but it's a start at trying to point out those that are likely to make it to the top by the requisite age.  It should be noted that the previously-mentioned Meisei and Takanosho were well advanced on this scale back in 2013, and while they no longer look like Ozeki candidates, they are solid top division rikishi who look to be joi mainstays for years to come.  Lots of future sekitori have featured on my lists from the past, though plenty of them in the lower ranks end up not really going anywhere.  Still, it's a good start for knowing who to look at.

I also include a notation for those who are at a tier above where they would need to be to make the list, denoted with a +X, where X is the number of tiers above the minimum for their age.   I still consider there to be a tier at every 6 month period below 16.5 - I just don't look for those at lower ranks.

Those that currently meet the criteria, with a bit of their history on this list, are:

M10 tier:

Hoshoryu has been on the list continuously since Hatsu 2019, when he was in the Ms30 tier.

J14 Tier:

Hokuseiho+2 has been on since Hatsu 2021 in the Ms15 tier.

Ms15 Tier: 

Otsuji+4 has been on since Haru 2020 in the Sd100 tier.

Atamifuji+2 has been on since Nagoya 2021 in the Ms60 tier.

Oshoumi is a new addition.  

Ms30 Tier: 

Nabatame is a new addition.   

Ms45 Tier:

Yoshii+2 has been on the list since Kyushu 2019 in the Sd75 tier.  He's unfortunately kyujo this basho, though he'll likely stay on the list next basho since he's two tiers ahead now (assuming he doesn't retire).

Sd50 Tier: 

Nishida+1 first appeared on the list in Hatsu 2021 in the Jd25 tier, and has been absent only in Natsu 2021 since then.

Daihisho first appeared on the list in Hatsu 2021 in the Sd75 tier, and has been absent only in Nagoya 2021 since then.

Sd100 Tier:

Shunrai makes his second consecutive appearance, being in the Jd25 tier last basho.

Jd25 Tier:

Mizuno+1, Kiyonohana, and Mogamizakura are new additions.

 

 

If anyone knows something about some of the less well-known guys on this list, feel free to post it here.  All I'm looking at is banzuke position and age; in general, I don't know anything else about these guys, though I generally do look to see if there was a blurb about them in the recruits thread when they pop onto the list at a high position.

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Kitanowaka was 1 win last basho away from briefly making the under 21 requirement. He really caught my eye in his 2nd year of high school and went on to win both major high school titles in his final year. Although he has moved somewhat slower in ozumo than I expected (which was sekitori in 2 years) I think he has the tools of a long-term makuuchi rikishi. Between amateur and pro, he's beaten many sekitori, including Hokuseiho, Nishikifuji, Oho, Kotoshoho, Asanowaka, Kaisho, Asagyokusei, and Oki.

As a bit of a long-term, outside shot of sekitorihood, I notice that Tanji (18 year old half Russian, former gymnast, in sandamne) has gained nearly 50kg since his debut and is on 4 straight KK.

And then of course the collegiate rikishi - Fukai, Nishikawa, Kanno, Ishizaki, Hitoshi, Osanai, Oshoma, Kinbozan, etc......there are likely a number of sekitori out of them. Funnily enough, I think 21-0 Fujiseiun is at the lower end of potential for the recent college grads.

Edited by Katooshu
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22 minutes ago, Katooshu said:

briefly making the under 21 requirement

That reminds me of how I determine age for these - I use the first day of the month of the basho as the dividing line, which is usually a bit after the banzuke release date, so it's possible that people might qualify under a strict reading, but I only care really about the month.  Kitanowaka would have qualified as being less than 21 as November started had he won his last match last basho.  He did qualify from Haru 2020 to Natsu 2021, so he's definitely one to watch, if a bit behind the curve right now one might say.

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In terms of prospects I've lost a bit of faith in - Shonannoumi first stood out to me in 2018 as a good sekitori prospect, with impressive size and a diverse skillset. He reached Ms5w 2.5 years ago and had real momentum towards juryo, but hasn't been able to cut it in high makushita. That said, he's only 23 and is at his highest rank this basho (at least if we are counting east and west - Ms5e).

I do still think he'll make juryo at least, but doubt he'll reach what I thought was once possible for him.

Edited by Katooshu

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16 minutes ago, Katooshu said:

In terms of prospects I've lost a bit of faith in - Shonannoumi first stood out to me in 2018 as a good sekitori prospect, with impressive size and a diverse skillset. He reached Ms5w 2.5 years ago and had real momentum towards juryo, but hasn't been able to cut it in high makushita. That said, he's only 23 and is at his highest rank this basho (at least if we are counting east and west - Ms5e).

I do still think he'll make juryo at least, but doubt he'll reach what I thought was once possible for him.

Yeah, I had a lot of hope in him too.  He just hasn't managed to push it up to the next level.  He still has plenty of time to make a reasonable career as a sekitori, but it's a bit late now to think he'll amount to much more.

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On 14/11/2021 at 04:25, Katooshu said:

In terms of prospects I've lost a bit of faith in

For me it's Tsukahara. He made Ms7 for July 2019 at 19 years 9 months so he would have made the list then, but he's been stuck in upper makushita ever since. He bludgeoned his way up the ranks on size and strength but as we know, those things can only take you so far. He also has a very limited skill set and an allergy to the belt: db is down at the moment but until recently he had never won a bout by yori-kiri.

In SF terms, he hit The Wall.

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Ya, I remember him joining at the same time as Kotoshoho, and then twice beating him to win jonokuchi and jonidan yusho. He only just turned 22 and many solid sekitori took 4 years or longer out of high school to make the paid ranks, but he's definitely hit the wall and needs something new.

Edited by Katooshu

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Hatsu 2022:

And so immediately I have to begrudge someone at M18 being in Makuuchi despite not being ranked M17, which was the highest maegashira rank until not too long ago.  Previous appearances on the list shown.

M17 M18 Tier:

Oho - Hatsu 2021, Natsu/July 2020 back through Natsu 2019, Hatsu 2019, Aki 2018

Ms15 Tier:

Atamifuji+2 - All since Nagoya 2021

Hokuseiho - All since Hatsu 2021

Ms30 Tier:

Otsuji+3 - All Since Haru 2020

Sd25 tier:

Daihisho - Most since Hatsu 2021, but not Nagoya 2021  

Yoshii - All since Kyushu 2019

Kiyota - None

Sd75 Tier:

Nishida - Most since Hatsu 2021, but not Natsu 2021  

Shunrai+1 - All since Aki 2021

Honorable mentions, those who are off by one grouping from making it: Hoshoryu (aged out of previous group), Dewanoryu, Shinohara, Nabatame, Anzai, Kotakiyama, Tanji, Aratakayama, Hokutoiwa, Fujimusashi, Ieshima, Mizuno, Kiyonohana.  

Edited by Gurowake
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On 13/11/2021 at 17:13, Katooshu said:

And then of course the collegiate rikishi - Fukai, Nishikawa, Kanno, Ishizaki, Hitoshi, Osanai, Oshoma, Kinbozan, etc......there are likely a number of sekitori out of them. Funnily enough, I think 21-0 Fujiseiun is at the lower end of potential for the recent college grads.

Do we have any sort of criteria that would allow us to predict which collegiate rikishi might reach the highest ranks? Probably not enough sample size?

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A quick but rough way for recent graduates is to split them into those who started with tsukedashi status and those who didn't. Under the previous winner take all system, with a measly 3 spots available, TD vs non-TD wasn't as strong an indicator of who the top prospects were and who the less promising rikishi were. Top amateurs like Shodai, Hokutofuji, Yoshikaze, Takarafuji had to start at the bottom in this system despite consistently impressive results, and so too would have Asanoyama and Wakatakakage if they'd been around at that time.

Over the college season quality shines through, but who wins any particular tournament involves a lot of chance too - which is why even now I don't think Ms15TD vs Sd100TD is a good way to compare talent levels. Although the rare Ms10TD that Mitakeumi and Endo had requires winning 2 major tournaments in the same year, and thus is a better indicator of a very promising rikishi.

The introduction of the sandanme tsukedashi and its expansion to the top 8 competitors at the 3 major collegiate tournaments means there are fewer elite talents who miss out these days. It still happens though, and the quality among tsukidashi starters varies plenty too. That's where familiarity with the rikishi comes in handy - how they placed in general rather than just at the major 3 tournaments, injury history, and the old fashion eye test.

And that all has its limitations too. Yamaguchi won nearly 20 college tournaments and looked pretty good doing it, while Shodai only won 3. Mitoryu dominated Asanoyama in college and became student + amateur yokozuna, while Asanoyama didn't win any major tournaments. It can be next to impossible to predict cases like this where the lesser collegiate rikishi became vastly superior as a pro.

I'm rambling on, but another thing I've noticed is that winning the East Japan Championship (the biggest regional tournament in college sumo; does not grant tsukedashi qualification though) is very predictive of future sekitori status for those who later go pro. Kinbozan won it 2 years ago (and Tohakuryu in 2018), so watch out for him...

Edited by Katooshu
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There generally is a divide between how well someone does in the pros and how dominating they are in college regardless of sport.  Obviously they need to be one of the better college players to be able to consider going pro, but especially in sumo where anyone who wants to try gets the chance to, it's more about developing your skills further to meet the level of competition.  Those who do too well in college may stop improving because they think they have everything solved. 

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Or sometimes, developing further just isn't in the cards. I'm convinced that some high school and collegiate rikishi build themselves (or are being built by their coaches) to peak at those levels, regardless of how it compromises their future upside. The eye test on, say, Oshoryu - he of the 24-0 start - showed a guy just turned 23 who looked built like a battle-hardened makuuchi veteran in his late 20s. The casual fan consensus was something along the lines of "this guy is gonna dominate all the way to makuuchi looking like that!", while the truth was arguably more like "welp, all the upside this guy has left anymore is on the technical side, and that doesn't look like it's going to amount to much".

Of course, if you're built to peak in college and that peak puts you around MsTd quality, it probably will be enough to lead to a decent sekitori career anyway. Mitoryu comes to mind as an example of that. However, if you're not quite Mitoryu in college, then you're probably Oshoryu in the pros.

Edited by Asashosakari
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The most promising candidates all picked up KKs: Atamifuji should be promoted to Juryo after just 7 basho from Maezumo, tied for 5th fastest, and the only one as young as him to go that fast (though others have been one basho slower).  Hokuseiho (one of those one basho slower) will move up with a 5-2, but likely won't be in the promotion zone.  Though I haven't worked it out specifically based on the actual results, I would normally expect him around ms6-7.  Otsuji picked up a KK and will move up slightly to around ms20, while Yoshii did a lot to get back closer to before his injury hiatus with a 6-1, which should put him roughly around ms40, probably a bit lower.

The other 5 on the list this basho had an MK, but they were all of the minimal type, so no major backwards movements there.

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23 minutes ago, Gurowake said:

Hokuseiho (one of those one basho slower) will move up with a 5-2, but likely won't be in the promotion zone.  Though I haven't worked it out specifically based on the actual results, I would normally expect him around ms6-7.

I tried to work it out and have him at Ms5w; I don' think there's a better candidate to knock him out of the top 10.

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Haru 2022:

M3 Tier: Hoshoryu - has missed only last basho (Hatsu 2022) since Hatsu 2019.  Having made it into this tier twice now, he's a very good candidate for Ozeki.  He has one more basho after this one to appear before aging out.

J14 Tier: Atamifuji+3 - Since Nagoya 2021

Ms15 Tier: Hokuseiho - Since Hatsu 2021

Ms30 Tier: Otsuji+3 - Since Haru 2020,

Kotohaguro+1 - I missed this guy last time.  He should have been a +1 at Ms45 Tier last basho.  He was first on the list for one basho in Aki 2018 as Kotokume, then reappeared in Hatsu 2019, stayed on through Nagoya 2019, reappeared Hatsu 2020, changed to his current name for Natsu 2021 but dropped off after that basho, (should have) reappeared Hatsu 2022, and is now on the list again.

Ms45 Tier: Yoshii+1 - since Kyushu 2019

Taiga - Previously appeared as Tanji in Hatsu 2020

Sd25 Tier: Daihisho - Since Hatsu 2021 other than Nagoya 2021  

Sd75 Tier: Shunrai+1 - Since Aki 2021

Nishida - Since Hatsu 2021 other than Natsu 2021

Jd25 Tier:

Mizuno - Previously appeared Kyushu 2021

Takashoki - Another one I missed last time.  Should have appeared at +1 in the Sd100 Tier, which would have been his first appearance.

Honorable Mentions (those one tier off in age):

Oho, Kitanowaka, Dewanoryu, Daiyusho, Moji, Mukainakano, Chiyotora, Miyata, Taniguchi, Kiyonohana, Mogamizakura, Chiyoshishi

 

Given that I missed two last time, I did a second look, which discovered I missed Daihisho the first time through.  So my methods here are clearly not that great at being certain to catch everyone.  Oh well.

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Posted (edited)

Natsu 2002:

They made it slightly harder to make the Sd100 and Jd25 tiers by having 20 less people in Sandanme.   

M3 Tier: Hoshoryu maintains his place in this tier for the last basho he's young enough to be on the list.  He missed only one basho (Hatsu 2022) since first appearing in Hatsu 2019.

J7 Tier: Kitanowaka returns for the first time since Natsu 2021.  He also appeared every basho between then and Haru 2020.

J14 Tier: Atamifuji +2 - Since Nagoya 2021

Ms15 Tier: Hokuseiho - Since Hatsu 2021

Ms30 Tier: Otsuji +2 - Since Haru 2020

Ms45 Tier: Kotohaguro - Lots of going on and off - see previous basho - most recently since Hatsu 2022.

Ms60 Tier: Yoshii - Since Kyushu 2019 - unfortunately he's now out of pluses - at one point he was at +5

Sd25 Tier: Daihisho - Since Hatsu 2021 other than Nagoya 2021 

Sd50 Tier: Miyata - Appeared previously Natsu and Nagoya 2021

Sd75 Tier - Mogamizakura +1 - Appeared previously Kyushu 2021

Sd10090 Tier - Chiyoshishi - new entry

Jd25 Tier - Takashoki - Since Hatsu 2022

I used a different method of filtering for them that doesn't make catching honorable mentions as easy.  I'm not going back through it again with a slightly different set of criteria.

Edited by Gurowake
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I was just looking at Asashoryu's history of coming up the ranks, and he was Yokozuna in his 26th basho, while this basho is Hoshoryu's 26th as well.  Hoshoryu is also a bit older than Asashoryu was at the time.  So while obviously Hoshoryu is pretty good, Asashoryu was on an entirely different level.

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Posted (edited)

Asa also made sanyaku faster than Hoshoryu made it out of juryo, made ozeki a few tournaments faster than Hosh made sanyaku, and has been far more advanced at pretty much every step of their careers.

Of course, a yokozuna with 25 yusho is a hard standard to match! Hosh isn't that level but has been doing very well regardless.....definitely one to keep an eye on for making the highest ranks. 

Edited by Katooshu
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Posted (edited)

Nagoya 2022:

J7 Tier: Atamifuji+3 - Since Nagoya 2021

J14 Tier: Hokuseiho - Since Hatsu 2021

Ms30 Tier:

Otsuji+2 - Since Haru 2020

Kotohaguro+1 - Lots of going on and off since Aki 2018 - most recently since Hatsu 2022

Mukainakano - First appearance

Ms45 Tier: Yoshii+1 - Since Kyushu 2019

Ms60 Tier: Daihisho - Since Hatsu 2021 other than Nagoya 2021

Sd25 Tier:

Ieshima+2 - Previous appearance Aki 2021.

Setonoumi - First appearance

Sd50 Tier: Miyata+1 - since Natsu 2022, plus Natsu and Nagoya 2021

Sd75 Tier: 

Takashoki+1 - Since Hatsu 2022

Shunrai - Since Aki 2021 except for Natsu 2022

Sd90 Tier: Mogamizakura - Since Natsu 2022, plus Kyushu 2021

Edited by Gurowake
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I'm probably missing something, but what are the implications of Hosh aging out of this list? Just that he's no longer a "future prospect" per se but has actually more or less made it given he's gotten to sanyaku by now?

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1 minute ago, Seiyashi said:

I'm probably missing something, but what are the implications of Hosh aging out of this list? Just that he's no longer a "future prospect" per se but has actually more or less made it given he's gotten to sanyaku by now?

He aged out from reading the above post from April.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Reonito said:

So is Kototebakari not as young as I think?

He would have to be a year younger or in Makushita to make the list right now.  Sd50 tier is less than 18 years old, and he's about to turn 19.  He'll need to get to Ms45 for next basho to show up.

Edited by Gurowake
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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Seiyashi said:

I'm probably missing something, but what are the implications of Hosh aging out of this list? Just that he's no longer a "future prospect" per se but has actually more or less made it given he's gotten to sanyaku by now?

When he turned 23 in May, he was too old to make these lists.  Because he wasn't 23 until May, he made the May basho list as under 23, as it uses the beginning of the month the basho starts as the cutoff.  That he's firmly established at the top of the division as he ages out is a good sign.

Edited by Gurowake
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On 30/12/2021 at 03:42, Gurowake said:

And so immediately I have to begrudge someone at M18 being in Makuuchi despite not being ranked M17, which was the highest maegashira rank until not too long ago.  Previous appearances on the list shown.

Although back in 1957 we got down to M23 :-O

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