Draft news and notes:
- NPB commissioner Ryozo Kato's last job was the NPB draft. His term officially ends on Friday.
- Nippon Hoso's draft coverage (17:09 - 18:00) peaked at 23.84%. The average was 22.63%.
- The regular draft lasted two hours and forty-five minutes. Seventy-six players were selected.
- Thirteen players were taken during the Ikusei draft.
- Rakuten's Yozo Tachibana visited to shrines to pray for a successful draft -- once on the 22nd in Sendai and on the 24th before the draft.
- The person that drew the winning ticket for Hiroshima was Kei Tamura, the scout in charge of tracking Daichi Osera. He had been following Osera for five years.
- The Yakult Swallows were looking for a pitcher that could help right away, a short stop, and a catcher. Junji Ogawa graded the draft a ninety percent. Incidentally, he purchase the tie he wore the day before the draft -- grey for Daichi Osera's team colors and dark red for Yuki Matsui's team colors.
- Nippon Ham's 3rd round draft pick, Hiromi Oka, is interested in being a pitcher and position player, like Shohei Otani. He spent most of his time as a position player this year -- he played first but could also be a successful outfielder.
- Shintaro Yokota's (Hanshin's 2nd round draft pick) father, Masashi, played for Lotte (1985-1992), Chunichi (1993-1994), and Seibu (1995).
- Shota Nagae (Yomiuri's 2nd round Ikusei draft pick) did not submit a letter of intent. However, he will be able to negotiate with the Giants once the Japan Student Baseball Association processes his team withdrawal form -- he submitted the form before attending a tryout for the Giants.
- Ren Wada (Yomiuri's 2nd round draft pick) grew up a Yomiuri fan. It was his dream to play for them.
- Hansin's Yutaka Wada tried to get luck on his side with five things: pray for success at Kanda Shrine, draw slips with his left hand based on something his cab driver said, yellow/gold neck tie, special underwear, and a chicken and egg rice bowl for lunch.
- The Fighters are planning to use Ryosuke Kishisato (7th round draft pick) as an outfielder.
- Lotte's Tsutomu Ito graded the draft a ninety percent. Rakuten Senichi Hoshino gave it a hundred percent. And Hiroshima owner Hajime Matsuda felt his team went over one-hundred percent.
Source: Daily Sports 10/24/2013, Daily Sports 10/24/2013, Nikkan Sports 10/24/2013, Nikkan Sports 10/24/2013, Nikkan Sports 10/24/2013, Nikkan Sports 10/24/2013, Nikkan Sports 10/24/2013, Nikkan Sports 10/24/2013, Nikkan Sports 10/24/2013, Nikkan Sports 10/24/2013, Sponichi 10/24/2013, Sponichi 10/24/2013, Sponichi 10/24/2013, Sponichi 10/24/2013, Sponichi 10/24/2013, Sanspo 10/24/2013, Sanspo 10/24/2013
Short quotes from the number one picks, from Sports Hochi:
Sugiura, Toshihiro (Yakult) - It was not a direct number one pick, but I am still happy with the number one selection. Yakult seems like a cosy organization. I know Jingu Stadium. I feel fate may be involved. I would like to become an important part of the team someday.
Kakita, Yuta (Yokohama) - I was caught off-guard because I did not think I would be selected in the first round. I am happy that three teams selected me. The team, along with the manager, seems very cheerful. I hope to be like that as well. There are still a lot of things I need to work on, but my goal is to become a pitcher that does not lose.
Suzuki, Shota (Chunichi) - I thought about giving up on becoming a professional player at one point because of injuries, so this make me happy. I overcame a lot of difficulties to get here. I want to make it to Ichi-gun as soon as possible and do my best to make it into the starting rotation.
Osera, Daichi (Hiroshima) - I think all my hard work if finally beginning to pay off. [Tamura, the scout that pulled the winning ticket] started following me when I was not much of a pitcher. That really made me happy. I would like to become a pitcher that can fully handle any position assigned to him.
Iwasada, Yuta (Hanshin) - I have looked to Atsushi Nomi for ideas on pitching. I think this is good for me and I am happy. Hanshin is competitive every year. I want to win a spot in that starting rotation and aim for ten wins in my first year.
Kobayashi, Seiji (Yomiuri) - I am honored to be selected by the Giants. Thank you. Yomiuri is a team where every player knows their individual roles. I want to do the things I need to do to become the kind of player, the kind of person, fans want to cheer for. My goal is to make Ichi-gun on opening day.
Watanabe, Ryo (Nippon Ham) - I was the last so I was not sure if I was going to be selected [in the first round]. I was happy. My goal is to become a player that has a good mix of running, hitting, and fielding. I do not want to be beat by other players in my age group.
Yoshida, Kazumasa (Orix) - I was not really thinking too much about getting selected by multiple teams. I am just happy to be selected. Since I am coming from the Industrial League, they will expect me to produce right away. My goal is to win ten games.
Kajiya, Ren (Softbank) - I am happy that a team near my home town thought so highly of me. I did not think I would be selected in the first round. I want to do my best and make a mark with my abilities.
Ishikawa, Ayumu (Lotte) - I am happy. I got goose bumps. I want to show them how aggressive I am. I want to thank my parents.
Mori, Tomoya (Seibu) - I wanted to be selected in the early rounds so I feel relieved that I was a sole number one pick. Seibu was on my list of teams I wanted to play for. It is an honor since there are also some [Osaka Toin High School] graduates there. I hope I can make my way into the heart of the line-up.
Matsui, Yuki (Rakuten) - It still does not feel real to me yet, but I am relieved. Rakuten has a great baseball atmosphere and they are a strong team. My goal is to become the type of play that can make the national team.
Source: Sports Hochi 10/24/2013, Sports Hochi 10/24/2013, Sports Hochi 10/24/2013, Sports Hochi 10/24/2013, Sports Hochi 10/24/2013, Sports Hochi 10/24/2013, Sports Hochi 10/24/2013, Sports Hochi 10/24/2013, Sports Hochi 10/24/2013, Sports Hochi 10/24/2013, Sports Hochi 10/24/2013, Sports Hochi 10/24/2013, Sports Hochi 10/24/2013
Short quotes from all twelve NPB managers/representatives:
Tatsunori Hara (Yomiuri, manager) - [Seiji Kobayashi] is a very polished catcher. We already have a great catcher in Shinnosuke Abe, but we want him to learn the ropes from him. We believe he has what it takes to become our future everyday catcher.
Yutaka Wada (Hanshin, manager) - Third time is a charm and we finally got in there. [Yuta Iwasada] was a pitcher we really wanted. We feel he has what it takes to make the rotation in his first year. How he throws and what he throws are similar to Atsushi Nomi.
Kenjiro Nomura (Hiroshima, manager) - I am glad I did not have to do the drawing. [Daichi Osera] is a very good pitcher. I want to see him throw his fastball at Mazda Stadium. We had four pitchers with double-digit victories this season. Perhaps he can become the fifth.
Motonobu Tanishige (Chunichi, manager) - My hands were shaking. It is too bad we missed out on [Yuki Matsui]. It is fate. [With regards to Shota Suzuki,] I have not seen a high school pitcher throw the ball with such great balance.
Kiyoshi Nakahata (Yokohama, manager) - We expect [Yuta Kakita] to help us out right away. At twenty-one, he is still young. He still has a few rough edges, but that gives us something to look forward to. He still has room to grow and we believe he will become an important part of the team.
Junji Ogawa (Yakult, manager) - I am relieved we got [Toshihiro Sugiura] after missing with our first pick. He is not just a pitcher that can help us right away, but I hear he also has growth potential. I expect him to anchor a spot in the rotation over the course of a full season.
Senichi Hoshino (Rakuten, manager) - We got a nice prospect that should do nicely following behind Masahiro Tanaka and Takahiro Norimoto. I thought it might be good to be aggressive this year. [Yuki Matsui] is an aggressive pitcher like Tanaka. I think he will be able to impress the fans in the Tohoku region, as well as all across Japan.
Haruhiko Suzuki (Seibu, director) - We were also thinking about pitching, but [Tomoya] Mori is not just any other player. There many catchers come around that can also hit. We selected him without a second thought. We are really attracted to his strong hitting abilities.
Tsutomu Ito (Lotte, manager) - There are not many pitchers with the potential to be the complete package and maintain a spot in the starting rotation over the course of a full season. With a pitcher like [Ayumu Ishikawa], we can hope for complete games. Hopefully he can compete with the younger players.
Koji Akiyama (Softbank, manager) - [Ren Kajiya] is from Kyushu, so that is one connection. I would like him to come into this thinking he can become our ace. He will have plenty of opportunities. What he has, the way he throws the ball, it is all good.
Hiroshi Moriwaki (Orix, manager) - I cannot believe we were able to nab the most polished amateur player available without any competition. [Kazumasa Yoshida] has good flexibility despite his height. I want to meet him as soon as possible. I want to see him pitching on the mound.
Hideki Kuriyama (Nippon Ham, manager) - I had a hard time getting lucky with the drawings. I did not think I would miss three times. We really wanted a hitter with power. We might be able to use [Ryo Watanabe] right away. He should feel safe about turning pro.
Source: ZakZak 10/24/2013