Yusei Kikuchi and Hanamaki Higashi Manager Hiroshi Sasaki held a press conference after Kikuchi submitted his letter of intent. What follows are some of the questions that were asked at the press conference.
Your current mental state after submitting your letter of intent...
Kikuchi: Time has just gone by so quickly. As soon as I joined the High School baseball team, the manager told me I was going to the pros and now that day has actually come.
What kind of things did you talk about to your family?
Kikuchi: My parents said that they'll leave everything up to the manager.
What kind of pro baseball player do you want to become?
Kikuchi: I want to be the type of player that can leave something behind in the hearts of the fans. Be it in Japan or in the US, the fact that I want to be the best pitcher doesn't change.
Japan or the US, which are you leaning towards?
Kikuchi: I'll be talking to all the teams and will make a decision after that. I don't think I'm in a place where I can say anything more. I would like to make a decision before the Amateur Draft.
What's the most important thing you'll be looking for when making a decision with Kikuchi?
Sasaki: The place where he'll grow the most, the place that will take care of him the best, that will be important.
It doesn't appear as if Kikuchi will attend the face-to-face meetings with the clubs...
Sasaki: There are just so many clubs interested in him. After speaking to Kikuchi's parents, we thought it best that I be the one present to hear what the clubs had to offer Kikuchi. I'll be the one to try and get as much information from each of the teams as possible.
Comments from various NPB clubs
Rakuten Eagles, Toshiyuki Mimura, chief scout: For the sake of pro baseball in Japan, I hope he decides to start his career in Japan.
Nippon Ham Fighters, Hiroshi Yoshimura, GM: If the timing works out, the GM and scout will go see him. It would be best to talk to him directly.
Chiba Lotte Marines, Akira Ishikawa, club rep: We're waiting to see if he has any interest in our team
NY Mets, Isao Ojimi, scout: We'll see what happens after we meet and talk. He needs to make a decision he won't regret.
Detroit Tigers: If I can get permission from the parent club, I'd like to go see him.