The Lions held a press conference to introduce their 2009 draft prospects on Wednesday.
Yusei Kikuchi - #17
Masaru Misawa - #4
Toshihiro Iwao - #12
Mitsugu Ishikawa - #53
Kenta Matsushita - #35
Yosuke Okamoto - #30
Hisanobu Watanabe once again said that he wanted to take it slowly with Kikuchi and that he wanted him to focus on building up his body.
NikkanSports is carrying a list of stats for rookie pitchers and a list of rookie pitchers that recorded double digit wins in their first year.
Over 200 members of the media showed up for the Lions press conference. And there were over 10 TV cameras lined up to record the event.
And Kikuchi Q&A during the press conference (via Sponichi):
Your thoughts right now...
I managed to join a team with a lot of tradition. I feel a great deal of responsibility to put up results that match the expectations.
On the number 17...
It's a number that supports the ace. I just want to help out the pitching staff, the team, in whatever way that I can.
More than just fastballs and off-speed pitches, I take pride in my attitude towards baseball. I think that's my strength. I want to be tough and push myself forward.
Matsuzaka said he wanted to win 200 games when he joined the Lions...
I don't think I'm a pitcher that can win 200 games. I first need to think about building up my body. In the end, I do want to become a pitcher like Matsuzaka.
Things you've asked Kimiyasu Kudo...
I want to throw for as long as I can, so I asked him what I should do in order to accomplish that.
On the very first pitch you'll throw as a pro...
I still can't imagine myself making that first pitch yet. I'll think about that once I get to that level.
I also caught a brief interview News Zero (NTV) just ran on their show where he was asked what his 1 year, 5 year, and 10 year goals were. For his first year goal, Kikuchi said he just wanted to make the Ichi-gun roster. He then said he wanted to attain double-digit wins by his third year and be a fixture in the rotation and win 15 games by his 5th year. In his 10th year, he wanted to be pitching at the WBC.
=== UPDATE 12/10/2009 10:44am JST