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Post-draft: Various quotes from players and managers from around the league

by on Oct.29, 2009 @ 10:48 pm, under NPB

Various quotes from around the league...

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Hisanobu Watanabe on drafting Kikuchi Yusei:

He has velocity... His approach to baseball and the way he attacks batters is top notch.  He has potential and we'll work on making sure he develops properly.

And something similar was quoted here:

I'm just really happy.  He has velocity and he has poise and the way he attacks batters is top notch.  I think he has great potential.  I want  to develop him thoroughly.  I feel a strong connection with him.

Watanabe looked pretty happy throughout the entire draft.  He was also quote as saying:

I purified myself with sake that was made with the rice and water from the region he comes from and I prayed to the pen.  100% satisfied.

About the pen...  It was apparently a pen with the Hanamaki Higashi team colors.

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Akinobu Okada on the draft:

Based on internal discussions, we wanted relievers more than starters.  The two picks we selected are both players that can be play right away.  It's close to 100%.  We were never in the Kikuchi sweepstakes to begin with.

Shuichi Furukawa on being draft in the first round by the Orix Buffaloes:

I'm just really surprised.  My head went blank. ... I want to do my best in the situations they stick me in.  I want to become a pitcher that can win a spot in the rotation. ... I want to pitch against Sugiuchi.  But more than that, I think winning the a Rookie of the Year award would be great.

Nobuyoshi Yamada on being drafted in the third round by the Orix Buffaloes:

I'm relieved I was selected.  I want to play hard for Orix.  Kikuchi will be in the same league as I am so that will be interesting.  I've only seen the manager Okada on TV and he looks a little scary.

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Takao Kaji (president) on the draft:

I'm happy we were able to select Tsutsugo just as planned.  He'll be a number four hitter in the future and be star.  I want him to work with the staff and take his time, exercise patience, and let him develop.  And I want him to make it as soon as possible for the sake of the fans.

Yoshitomo Tsutsugo on being selected in the first round by the Yokohama Bay Stars:

It's where I'm from and it's a team I like.  I'm just full of happiness.  If I can get used to the velocity in the pros, I'll be alright.  I want to work my way up from the farm system and get myself onto the Ichi-gun roster.

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Norifumi Nishimura on the draft:

I was really unsure about the first pick right up until the end.  Outfielders with strong legs are the kind of player I was.  I had two options coming into the draft and I decided on the spot.

Takashi Ogino on being drafted in the first round by the Chiba Lotte Marines:

I didn't think I'd be selected in the first round. I feel as if they've recognized my running abilities. Hit the ball, field the ball, and run. I want to do everything I can for the team.

Tomohisa Ohtani on being draft in the second round by the Chiba Lotte Marines:

I was surprised they thought so highly of me. My goal is to go all out and bring a Championship to the team. I want to hold shut-out the opposition every time I'm called on.

Shota Ohmine on being drafted in the third round by the Chiba Lotte Marines:

To be honest, I wanted to start my pro career with another team. ... I've never played on the same team [as my older brother].  I want to make the plays on the field when my brother pitches. ... I want to put on the uniform on as soon as possible.

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Kenjiro Nomura on the draft:

Imamura pitches at a high level and it close to being ready.  We're not talking 1-2 years.  If he can stand on the [Ichi-gun] mound half-way through the season, that would be nice.

Takeru Imamura on being draft in the first round by the Hiroshima Carp:

I don't really remember what happened after they called my name. I want to hurry up and make the Ichi-gun roster. I want to become a championship-caliber pitcher that can win. If I ever face Kikuchi, I want to be the winning pitcher.

Shota Dobayashi on being drafted in the second round by the Hiroshima Carp:

I have my sites set on 200 hits and a spot on the WBC roster. I want to practice hard and try to make it onto the Ichi-gun roster in my first year. ... Hiroshima has been telling me they like me for quite some time and it was the team I really wanted to go to. It still hasn't sunk in, but I'm really happy. I want to show them what I have with my bat as an infielder.

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Shigeru Takada on the draft:

I really wanted to draw Kikuchi's card, it's really too bad.  Last year we picked high schoolers.  This year we wanted players we can use right away.  We can use Nakazawa and Yamamoto right away and I'm really looking forward to watching them play.

Masato Nakazawa on being drafted in the first round by the Yakult Swallows:

I was a little worried I wouldn't be selected, so I'm relieved. If I can stay healthy and play my game, I think everything will be ok. I like to change speeds and want to use that method to win games.

Takahiro Araki on being draft in the third round by the Yakult Swallows:

I was just really happy and relieved. This is where things start for me. I really look up to Miyamoto. It's all about competing in the pros, but there's plenty I want to learn.

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Koji Akiyama on the draft:

We focused on help for the future instead of help right away.  Imamiya is athletic and I believe he'll be a good player.  It would be great if he could be someone like Kazuo Matsui.

Kenta Imamiya on being drafted in the first round by the Softbank Hawks:

I wanted to play near my home town so I really wanted to play for the Hawks. I may have a small body, but I want to become a giant and live up to the teams expectations. ... Kikuchi is an eternal rival and I feel connected to him by fate. I may have lost against him in high school, but I want to face him in the pros. ... I want to practice so I can play anywhere. ... I'm just really grateful. My dream has come true and I'll work harder than any one else. I want to prove that even someone small like me can succeed.

Hiroyuki Kawahara on being drafted in the second round by the Softbank Hawks:

I'm happy they thought so highly of me. I've followed the Hawks since I was a kid and they have a strong and wonderful team. I want to make good use of my fastballs.

Keiji Nakahara on being drafted in the fourth round by the Softbank Hawks:

When Nakata was drafted before me, I started to worry about my chances, so I'm glad at the results. ... I want to keep hitting the ball into the air.

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Akinobu Mayumi on the draft:

Futagami has power and good movement on his pitches.  I think we can use him right away.  Fujihara was one of our alternate first round picks so I think we were really lucky.  We lost out on Kikuchi, but I'm happy with the results.

Kazuhito Futagami on being drafted in the first round by the Hanshin Tigers:

I've left a few things undone at Koshien. I will do my best. ... Hanshin holds camp near my hometown in Kochi so they have always been around. My goal is to start and stay at Ichi-gun throughout the year and do my best with Johjima as my catcher.

Masanori Fujihara on being drafted in the second round by the Hanshin Tigers:

I'm really flattered about being selected by such a great team. ... It's always been my dream to pitch at the Koshien. I want to stand on the mound and pitch.

Takumi Akiyama on being drafted in the fourth round by the Hanshin Tigers:

I was really hoping on being draft in the first round and I feel really frustrated and upset.

Shunsuke Fujikawa on being drafted in the fifth round by the Hanshin Tigers (while crying tears of frustration for not being drafted within the first three rounds):

It's been a dream of mine to play in the pros since I was a kid. I dropped a bit in the draft, but I'm glad they felt I was worthy of a pick.

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Toru Shimada (owner) on the draft:

It's too bad we couldn't get Kikuchi, but I'm satisfied with Tomura.  I'd like him to become a pitcher like Iwakuma.  We also wanted a position player so I'm glad we were able to grab Nishida in the second round.

Kenji Tomura on being drafted in the first round by the Rakuten Eagles:

I didn't think I'd be drafted in the first round.  I've always looked up to Iwakuma ever since I was in high school.  My strength is my fastball.  I just want to go out there and pitch without any cares.

Tetsuro Nishida on being drafted in the second round by the Rakuten Eagles:

I was so happy I almost had goosebumps. I still haven't sorted it outi in my head. ... I was surprised that I was selected so early. Rakuten has a great team. I have confidence in my hitting. I'm going to shoot for 30 home runs and a .300 batting average.

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Junnosuke Nishikawa (club president) on the draft:

It's too bad about Kikuchi.  We never even really had a chance.  We focused on high school left-handed pitching in this draft.  We were able to get some pretty decent pitchers that were ranked right behind Kikuchi.

Toshiya Okada on being drafted in the first round by the Chunichi Dragons:

I won't ever forget this day. I'm happy I was selected in the first round. ... I don't think I can beat Kikuchi right now. I'd like to pitch against him in 2-3 years. ... I was thinking I'd do my best for any of the teams. I want to become a pitcher people can consider the ace. I want to use my entire body and pitch in front of everyone.

Ryoji Nakata on being drafted in the third round by the Chunichi Dragons:

I was really anxious as I waited for the results.  I'm really happy. ... I want to keep my weight as is.  I want to become a batter that is worthy of representing Japan.

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Masataka Nashida on the draft:

It was too bad that the last draw lost out to Kikuchi.  But it was big that we were still able to select two players that can play right away.  We hope they can emulate Darvish as they develop.  On Kikuchi, I think it's good for the Pacific League and for pro baseball.

Masaru Nakamura on being drafted in the first round by the Nippon Ham Fighters:

I didn't think I'd be draft first so I was really surprised. I'm a little thin so I'll work on building up my body once I get to the pros. I also want to work on becoming a pitcher that can work games.

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Tatsunori Hara on the draft:

I feel a strong connection with Chono.  He can run, bat, and field and I believe he will be able to help us.  Kiyashiki was a selection based on trying to strengthen our depth at catcher.  We need to take out time to develop him.

Hisayoshi Chono on being drafted in the first round by the Yomiuri Giants:

I'm extremely flattered. I'm very happy. Has it sunk in yet? No, not yet. I'm really happy, but I have a ton to do. I was lucky to have some really great teammates over these last 3 years. I'm very grateful. The Giants are a team with class and history, so I'll do my best to become a player that fits in with the team.

Masato Kiyashiki on being draft in the second round by the Yomiuri Giants:

I'm flattered about being selected so early. I hope that I've managed to help open the door to other players are playing in technical colleges. ... I will work hard to become like Abe in the hopes that I'll be able to surpass him at some point. ... I didn't think I would be selected so early. I'm grateful at being selected so early. I have confidence in my arm. I want to try and catch Kroon once I sign with the team.

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...Marines' manager Norifumi Nishimura had two options for his first pick: Yusei Kikuchi or Takashi Ogino.  Nishimura decided to go with Ogino.

Said Nishimura, "Right now, our outfielders lack speed.  Adding an outfielder with speed will mean better fielding.  I hope he can team up with Nishioka and play baseball that involves using their feet."

...Two sets of brothers were paired up today: the Ohmine brothers (Yuta and Shota) on the Chiba Lotte Marines and the Nagakawa brothers (Katsuhiro and Mitsuhiro) on the Hiroshima Carp.

...Kenji Tomura became the first player out of Rikkyo University to be drafted in the first round since Kazushige Nagashima in 1987.

...Yuji Maeda is the first player out of the BC League to be selected in the NPB draft.  Maeda was selected in the fourth round by the Orix Buffaloes.

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