Sanspo is carrying an Q&A with Yusei Kikuchi that was conducted yesterday:
The draft is finally here...
I woke up early just as usual and practiced. I still hasn't really sunk in yet. But I am looking forward to it, I want it to become tomorrow right away.
What does "as usual" mean?
Going to school, hanging out in the dorms...
Do you think you'll be able to sleep tonight?
After making my decision [to stay in Japan] I've been able to sleep much better.
Are you staying in touch with your close friends?
I've e-mailed Yuki Shimooki and Kota Ito. We're all excited about tomorrow. There's a chance we might be on the same team, or on rival teams. I'm really looking forward to it.
What have you spoken about to your teammates?
Like which uniform I'd look best in, stuff like that.
Your acne is getting better...
I've been washing my face every day so it's getting better little by little.
What are you thinking right now?
Maybe I won't be selected. I'd be lying if I said I was anxious. But it's not a bad thing, it's an exciting feeling.
Is there a team you'd like to go to?
No. I'm not wearing a uniform to play baseball, I'm just playing baseball. I'll do my best where ever I go.
You'll be watching the draft from another room...
I'll be watching with my [baseball team] manager Sasaki and my parents so that I can speak to them without worrying about other people. I just want to take it easy.
There are estimates that 8 clubs will be battling it out for you...
I'm not really thinking about that since only 1 club will ultimately get me.
Did you watch the Climax Series?
After announcing my decision, I've recorded games and I think I've managed to catch most of them. I saw Tanaka-san pitch against Nippon Ham. I also saw Darvish. I also watched Yoshinori-san's game against the Dragons.
But Darvish didn't pitch in the Climax Series.
I watched video of Darvish from last year's Climax Series. I've been watching these games without much thought until now, but I'm now watching these games a little differently. I'm watching them for hints on how to get players out and what kinds of things I need to work on.
The Dragons Masa Yamamoto has mentioned wanting to work with you, as have others...
I want to hear lots of advice. That's probably the thing I look forward to most. I can now talk to players I've wanted to emulate. I like learning new things.
Ex-Mariners Johjima signed on with the Tigers...
Japan's number 1 catcher managed to put up some numbers in the Majors. I don't know where I'll be going, so it might have to be on the national team, but I'd like to team up with him at least once.
How will you spend the night?
I want to spend the night as usual. I've already practiced and now I just want to go back to my dorn and sleep like I always do.
Those tears you shed after the press conference on the 25th, what did they mean?
My feelings about disappointing all the scouts from the Majors overwhelmed me and just came out in tears. I think the tears may have brought on misunderstandings and I apologize for that.
Did you say anything to your teammates or Koshien friends?
I spoke to Kota Ito yesterday. I also exchanged e-mails with Yuki Shimooki and we talked about how excited we were.
You'll be in a different room from the media when they make the selection?
I'll be with my [baseball team] manager and my parents. I don't have any specific team I'd like to go to. I also don't want to be surrounded by a bunch of people.
Your parents mentioned something about following whichever team drafts you...
I'm sure there will be a lot of games where I get knocked around so I'd much rather they didn't follow me.
On the chance that there might be up to 9 clubs that select you...
I'm not really thinking about that because I'm only going to one of them.
...Kikuchi arrived at school at 8am and didn't appear to be nervous.