Tag: 2009 Draft
Chiba Lotte Marines
...Monday was the last day of rookie mini camp.
Takashi Ogino is still nursing an injury to the big toe on his right foot and worked on a training menu separate from the rest of the rookies, but is still hopeful that he'll be ready for Spring camp.
Shota Ohmine only took part in 3 days of mini camp and is looking forward to Spring camp.
...Yusei Kikuchi tossed a 20-pitch bullpen session (2nd consecutive in as many days) with Toru Hosokawa standing behind the plate; it was the first time Hosokawa caught Kikuchi.
Kikuchi only threw fastballs and said that he threw at about 30-40% capacity.
Hosokawa told reporters that he thought Kikuchi looked a little tired and that his mechanics were a little off.
...Koji Akiyama dropped by rookie mini camp at about 9:30am on Monday and spent about 5 and a half hours checking on his prospects.
...Ryoji Nakata closed out rookie mini camp on Sunday in order to return to Asia University. He's currently working on finishing his degree -- he was apparently short a few credits. Nakata only participated in 6 days of rookie mini camp. He'll be joining the team for Spring camp on 2/2 since he'll have tests through to 2/1.
...Yuhei Kai became the first player to sustain an injury at rookie mini camp on Sunday. It seems he injured his left hamstring. He hurt the hamstring while trying to take-off for a 30 meter sprint in the outfield. There are currently no plans to take him to a hospital.
Kai had been assigned to a Ni-gun Spring camp start and was trying to show the coaches that he was ready for Ichi-gun.
...Kazuhito Futagami's first appearance will likely come during an intra-squad practice game during the second block of Ichi-gun Spring camp that takes place in Aki City.
Futagami also held a 36-pitch bullpen session on Sunday (as did other pitches like Naoto Tsuru, Ryuji Wakatake, and Masanori Fujihara)
...There was a "pep rally" held for Kenji Tomura on Sunday. The event was organized primarily by Rikkyo University alums living in the Sendai area. About 125 people showed up for the rally.
...The rookies held a soccer "lifting" tournament after practice on Sunday where the person that laughs the most during the competition gets to fill everyone's humidifier water tanks. Yusei Kikuchi lost.
...3rd round draft pick Yuki Shimooki tossed a 50-pitch bullpen session on Sunday -- it was his third bullpen session during mini camp.
...Kenta Imamiya has decided to study Rakuten Eagle Teppei's swing using special software installed on his team-issue iPhone. Seems he likes Teppei's compact swing.
The two players are both from Ohita Prefecture.
...Masato Nakazawa would like Atsuya Furuta to catch him during his scheduled visit to Spring camp. They are both former Toyota players.
...Hisayoshi Chono will be heading down to Miyazaki on the 26th in order to take part in the joint mini camp that begins on the 27th.
...Yusei Kikuchi tossed a 30-pitch bullpen session on Sunday.
Osamu Higashio watched the bullpen session and later told reporters that he thought Kikuchi was pitching at a higher level than Daisuke Matsuzaka was at this stage in his career.
Kikuchi wasn't feeling quite as good about his session, saying that he still needed to work on his mechanics.
...The last day of rookie mini camp is January 27th.
...Kenta Imamiya rejoined the team on Sunday after taking a leave of absence to take some high school exams (he left after practice on the 21st). In order to keep his body fit, Imamiya apparently worked out for 2 hours each day he was away from the team.
...Sunday was the last day of rookie mini camp for the Giants.
Chiba Lotte Marines
...Shota Ohmine checked into the player dorms on Friday. His dorm super will be keeping a close eye on Ohmine.
...The Dragons' rookies had their eyes tested on Saturday. Some interesting results:
Ryoji Nakata passed a hand-eye coordination test with flying colors.
Ryuya Ogawa apparently has better vision with moving objects than with objects standing still.
...Takeru Imamura tossed his fourth consecutive bullpen in as many days on Saturday.
...The Lions will likely select Yuki Saito (Waseda University) with their first pick. But if they don't get him, they're fall backs will include Hirofumi Abe (Tohoku Gakuin University), Tatsuya Ohishi (Waseda University), and Hirokazu Sawamura (Chuo University).
Chiba Lotte Marines
...3rd round draft pick Shota Ohmine got a chance to take fielding practice with Tsuyoshi Nishioka on Saturday during his first official day of rookie mini camp.
...5th round draft pick Shunsuke Fujikawa spent his day off on Saturday working out with another graduate of Koryo High School, Hiroki Uemoto. The two played some catch and did some running.
...Bunka Broadcasting's Senpatsu! (センパツ！) has a 10 minute corner between 6:15pm and 6:25pm called Lions Express (ライオンズエキスプレス). Starting on the 25th, they'll run interviews with the Seibu rookies; the first to air will be Yusei Kikuchi.
For those living in Japan, you can tune in to 1134 AM on your radio to hear the show.
...Bomberman for the Nintendo DS is apparently a big hit among Seibu pitchers. And it seems it's becoming one of Yusei Kikuchi's favorite as well. He told reporters that he still isn't very good at it, but hopes to one day partake in the tournament the pitchers hold.
...A Chinese restaurant (Sayama Shokudo) near the Seibu Dome added a new dish to their menu called Yusei Ramen. It's the first time since Daisuke Matsuzaka in 1999 that the restaurant named an item on their menu after a baseball player.
Yusei Ramen costs 650 yen and is full of vegetables.
...4th round draft pick Takumi Akiyama tossed a 31-pitch bullpen session on Friday. He threw at about 70%.
...Masanori Fujihara plans on taking lots of notes during Spring camp.
...Shunsuke Fujikawa's registered name will be Shun Fujikawa (藤川俊).
...Motoki Higa held his first bullpen session of the year at Skymark Stadium on Friday; he threw 30 pitches. Pitching coach Eiji Kiyokawa was impressed with the session and said that there was nothing he could see that needed fixing.
...Yusei Kikuchi had a chance to watch Takeya Nakamura take BP on Friday. He later told reporters that if he were to pitch against Nakamura, he'd stay away from the outer portion of the plate and stick to pounding him with inside pitches. Kikuchi also said he would need to brush up his off-speed pitches in order to have any success against Nakamura.
...Kikuchi wants to rely on his fastball from the start, even though he knows he'll get hit. By doing so, he hopes to figure out how to use his fastball more effectively.
Kikuchi can throw a fastball, curve, slider, fork, and shuto. In high school, he stuck primarily to his fastball and slider, although he did try to throw a fork at least 2-3 times a game.
...The Lions are thinking about inviting umps to their Spring camp early on in order to give their young pitchers more opportunities to work with a real strike zone.
The NPB will be sending umpires out to the various camps beginning on the 10th. Teams that want to work with umpires before that will have to pay for them out of their own pockets.
...2nd round draft pick Hiroyuki Kawahara tossed his first bullpen session of the year on Friday; he threw about 40 pitches. Kawahara told reporters that he's used to throwing about 200 pitches by this time of year.
3rd round draft pick Yuki Shimooki also tossed a bullpen session, his second in as many days; he threw about 40 pitches.
...4th round draft pick Keiji Nakahara showed off his arm while playing catch on Friday. Nakahara does have experience as a pitcher -- he was a pitcher until his second year of high school.
Yokohama Bay Stars
...Yoshitomo Tsutsugo is looking to improve his running and fielding. On Friday, he took grounders at third base for about 30 minutes.
...Takao Obana will be dropping by rookie mini camp on the 26th.
Chiba Lotte Marines
...The Marines held a press conference today to officially announce that they signed Shota Ohmine to a contract worth 5.5M yen (down 500,000 yen from the original contract) with a signing bonus of 40M yen.
The team also announced that they will register his name as "Shota" and that his uniform number will be 50.
...Kenta Imamiya was excused from rookie mini camp so that he can take return to his high school to take some tests. He returned to Ohita after practice on the 21st and will return to the team some time on the 23rd.
...Akinobu Mayumi had a chance to see Kazuhito Futagami and Masanori Fujihara toss bullpen sessions prior to the organizational meetings on Thursday. And while Yuhei Kai and Shunsuke Fujikawa were not on the preliminary roster for Ichi-gun, Mayumi said that they still had a chance to show him that they deserve to go.
Another organizational meeting on the 25th will determine the final rosters for Ichi-gun and Ni-gun camp.
...Toru Hosokawa told Yusei Kikuchi to call on him when he throws his next bullpen session.
...Kikuchi may not have had any clothes when he moved into the players dorms, but it doesn't seem like he has that problem any more. Seems about 5-6 fans have sent him a bunch of clothes. One woman apparently gave Kikuchi a Michel Klein coat worth 20,000 yen.
...3rd round draft pick Kyohei Tsuchimoto finished with the top time during a 3,000 meter run at rookie mini camp on Thursday. He finished with a time for 12 minutes and 9 second. Hisayoshi Chono finished in second.
...1st round draft pick Kazuhito Futagami and 2nd round draft pick Masanori Fujihara will likely start their years at Ichi-gun Spring camp.
...1st round draft pick Shuichi Furukawa, 2nd round draft pick Motoki Higa, and 5th round draft pick Toru Anan will likely be starting the season at Ichi-gun camp.
...Kenji Tomura held his first bullpen session at the indoor practice facilities at Kleenex Stadium on Thursday. He tossed 30 pitches.
...1st round draft pick Masato Nakazawa, 2nd round draft pick Tetsuya Yamamoto, 3rd draft pick Takahiro Araki, and 5th round draft Jun Matsui will likely start the year at Ichi-gun Spring camp.
...Sanspo is carrying an interview with Hisayoshi Chono. Of particular interest, is the section where he talks about turning down the Nippon Ham Fighters and the Chiba Lotte Marines.
You were selected in the fourth round by the Nippon Ham Fighters out of college and were selected in the 2nd round by the Chiba Lotte Marines in 2008. You turned both down. But it seems you really had a rough time deciding the second time around...
Because I turned two teams down, I thought I might not be able to play baseball anymore. And I'm sure people who were watching me were probably thinking, "what the heck are you doing?!" I definitely didn't like the idea of people thinking about me like that, but I had already turned down the Fighters beforehand, and when I was selected by the Marines, I just couldn't get myself to say yes. [Honda] also told me that I should do what I felt was best, so in the end I thought things through and made the decision myself.
Turning down a team a second time would certainly seem to make things more difficult for you...
I was prepared for that. I made the decision knowing the risks. And the Giants did end up drafting me. Now I just need to work on making sure they don't regret selecting me.
...Toshiya Okada held a bullpen session on Wednesday and tossed about 30 pitches and at one point he had to be reminded not to throw so hard. Okada later told reporters that he started out throwing at about 50-60%, but found himself throwing at about 90% towards the end because he was feeling so good.
...4th round draft pick Takumi Akiyama and Ikusei 1st round draft pick Shuhei Takada held bullpen sessions on Wednesday. Akiyama tossed about 33 pitches.
...Yuhei Kai and Shunsuke Fujikawa will likely start the season at Ichi-gun Spring camp. On Wednesday, they took fielding practice in the outfield for the first time this year. Kai showed off his arm during long distance throws at about 120 meters and Fujikawa showed off his legs, running the 50m in 5.9 seconds.
...The Eagles announced on Thursday that all their new rookies will start the season at Ni-gun Spring camp.
...Depending on how things go with Yusei Kikuchi during Spring camp, he could be called on to pitch in a practice game against the Yomiuri Giants on 2/26.
...Kikuchi might be registered as Yusei, but he plans on using his full name for autographs. He doesn't want people to forget his surname.
...Kikuchi tossed another bullpen session on Thursday; he threw 23 pitches, all fastballs. It was the first time this year that he's thrown bullpen sessions on three consecutive days. Kikuchi also had a chance to meet Toru Hosokawa.
...Hisayoshi Chono suffers from allergies and is a little worried about Spring camp in Miyazaki. He told reporters that he's thinking about taking an air purifier with him to camp, in addition to surgical masks and allergy medicine.
...The Yakult Swallows currently have about 200 players on their list of prospects to watch for in 2010.
And while the Swallows assigned 5 scouts to Yuki Saito, they apparently won't be sending any to cover him during his training trip to he US in February (the Marines, on the other hand, will be sending two scouts).