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Draft News and Notes: Kikuchi exchanges gifts with Ryo Ishikawa

by on Jan.16, 2010 @ 3:15 pm, under NPB

Hanshin Tigers

...The rookies had the day off on Friday, but Kazuhito Futagami, Masanori Fujihara, Yuhei Kai, and Shunsuke Fujikawa spent some time working out at the Naruohama training grounds.

The four are currently penciled in to start their years at Ichi-gun Spring camp.

Rakuten Eagles

...Ikusei 1st round pick Koji Matsui's primary goal for 2010 is to get on the regular roster and get a uniform number that's under 100.

Seibu Lions

...Yusei Kikuchi was given the Super Baseball Fierce Fight Koshien Award at the TV Asahi 44th Big Sports Award Ceremonies.

At the ceremony, Kikuchi got to speak to Ryo Ishikawa (pro golfer) and Yomiuri Giants' manager Tatsunori Hara.

Hara wished Kikuchi the best of luck and told him that he would be rooting for him.  Kikuchi spoke to Ishikawa for about 30 minutes after the ceremonies and even exchanged gifts with him.  The gifts?  Ishikawa gave Kikuchi an autographed ball and a t-shirt; Kikuchi gave Ishikawa an autographed ball, a book on the power of the mind's eye, and a DVD featuring Suntory rugby team's manager (Katsuyuki Kiyomiya) talk about the mentality of athletes.

...Kikuchi threw at about 70% for the bullpen session on Friday; it lasted 7-15 minutes.  About 20 Lions' staff members watched him pitch.  Some of the staffers were impressed with what they saw, despite it being an early session.  Koji Tahara (bullpen catcher) felt Kikuchi was showing better stuff than Daisuke Matsuzaka in his first year.

Yakult Swallows

...Norichika Aoki met with the rookies on Friday and told them not to get hurt before Spring camp.

2010 Draft

...Chiba Lotte Marine Tae-Gyun Kim may not know who Yuki Saito is, but he does know Masahiro Tanaka.  And I'm guessing, he figures if Saito beat Tanaka during the Koshien, then Saito much be just as good, if not better, than Tanaka.

In any case, he told reporters that he's interested in playing with Saito, should he be drafted by the Marines.