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Draft News and Notes: Some more on Kikuchi

by on Jan.04, 2010 @ 1:49 pm, under NPB

Chiba Lotte Marines

...The Marines are so high on 1st round draft pick Takashi Ogino, that they're already thinking about him as a candidate to work in the front office.

Nippon Ham Fighters

...Tomoya Yagi invited 2nd round draft pick Yutaka Ohtsuka to work out with him on Sunday for his first practice of 2010.

Seibu Lions

...Yusei Kikuchi did some basic training at Hanamaki Higashi High School on Sunday.  He was limited to running and some basic exercises due to the snow.  After practice, he made a stop-over at a nearby shrine.

Kikuchi has been working out since the start of the New Year, doing things like running and weight lifting.

...While Kikuchi will be taking his high school's final exams, it isn't because he needs to, but rather because the school doesn't want anyone to think he's getting any preferential treatment.  According to the high school's baseball president Sasuga, Kikuchi's grade are fine and he has all the credits he needs in order to graduate.

Incidentally, the finals exams will be given over a 4-day period.  There was some talk about Kikuchi only missing 1 day of practice for the exams, but he may end up missing a day or two more depending on how the high school schedules his exams.

Hanamaki Higashi's graduation ceremonies are set to take place on March 6.

...Dave Ohkubo made an appearance at Seibuen Yuenchi (an amusement park) on Sunday -- his first such appearance in a year.  During a live talk session, Ohkubo mentioned that he felt Kikuchi had a great fastball and slider, but still needed to learn a curve or fork to complement those pitches.

Also at the event: Takeya Nakamura, G.G. Sato, and Shogo Akada.

...Kikuchi drew his omikuji (a written fortune) on Sunday.  It came out as average luck for the year.  The fortune also told him not to rush and that he would fulfill his goals with the help of others.

...Seems the Lions have told Kikuchi not to hold any bullpen sessions until Spring camp and have also limited the number of balls he can throw while playing catch to 30-40.  They also want him to try to throw off-speed pitches while playing catch, just so that he can get a feel for the ball and for the various grips.

This is a much slower pace than what Kikuchi is normally used to.  After joining Hanamaki Higashi, his training schedule (including full bullpen sessions) normally began on January 4th.

...Kikuchi apparently goes through about 100 books a year.

2010 Draft

...The Tigers plan on sending scouts to watch the Waseda University practice sessions that are set to begin on the 5th.