|Hiroshima Toyo Carp – No. 35|
|Born: April 23, 1988|
Aoba-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan
|October 3, 2013, for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp|
|Career statistics |
(through 2018 season)
Early Baseball Career
Shimozuru was born in Aoba-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture. He attended Kamoshida Elementary School and Kamoshida Junior High School. He started baseball when he was in elementary school and played in the Midori Chuo Little Senior when he was in junior high school. He attended Yokohama High School, one of the country's best best high school baseball team and became the cleanup hitter in his second year of high school. His team managed to win the championship in the 78th National School High School Invitation Tournament in the Spring of 2006. His team also made it to the Japanese High School Baseball Championship in the Summer of 2006, but was lost 6-11 to Osaka Toin High School in the first round. He and Nobumasa Fukuda (now player for Chunichi Dragons) played in the same team from elementary school to high school.
After graduating from high school, he enrolled in Aoyama Gakuin University and played as a regular in the Tohto University Baseball League since his freshman year. In his junior year, his posterior cruciate ligament was injured and his team dropped to Division Two of the League in the same year. He became the captain of the team in his senior year and led the team back to Division One. He was awarded the League Best Nine in the spring season of his sophomore year and fall season of his senior year. He has hit 13 homeruns in his university career (9 in Division 1 and 4 in Division 2).
He played for Honda's baseball team after graduating from university. He also worked in Honda's car manufacturing factory and was responsible for checking for defects in the parts and car engines.
He was selected as the Hiroshima Toyo Carp's 4th pick during the autumn 2012 professional baseball draft.
He started in the farm team in the spring camp but was promoted to ichigun (Japanese equivalent of the major league). However, his adductor muscle was injured in March and spent most of his season in the farm team. He was promoted to ichigun again on October 3, when there were two games left for the season. He appeared in his first official game on the same day as a starter and made his first career hit. In the last game of the season on October 6, he made his first career RBI as a pinch hitter. He also appeared as a pinch hitter in the first game of the first stage of the Climax Series against Hanshin Tigers.
He was in the starting lineup of the opening game of the season. He had six plate appearances at first four games of the season but was struck out four times and had no hits. He was promoted to ichigun on June 10 and hit his first career homerun on June 19.