Shuhei Takahashi

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Shuhei Takahashi
Takahashi with the Chunichi Dragons
Chunichi Dragons – No. 3
Born: (1994-01-18) January 18, 1994 (age 23)
Fujisawa, Kanagawa, Japan
Bats: Left Throws: Right
March 31, 2012, for the Chunichi Dragons
NPB statistics
(through 2016)
Batting average .235
Home runs 21
Hits 193
Runs batted in 91

Shuhei Takahashi (高橋 周平, Takahashi Shuhei?, born January 18, 1994 in Fujisawa, Kanagawa, Japan) is a professional Japanese baseball player. He plays infielder for the Chunichi Dragons.

Early career[edit]

Takahashi started playing baseball from grade 1 at Fujisawa Zengyo Elementery school as a pitcher.[1] He started to play with local club, Shonan Boys from his Fujisawa Zengyo Middle School days [1] and as a middle-school junior experienced the final of the Giants Cup in 2007.[2] For high school, Takahashi had his sights set on playing for Yokohama High School but received an invitation to play for Tokai University Kofu High School by coach, Junichi Izumi which he accepted. Ryo Watanabe currently of the Nippon Ham Fighters played at the same school but was two years Takahashi's junior.

In Spring of his first year of high school, he was deployed as a third-baseman and 4th in the batting line-up, becoming a regular for the team. From Autumn however Takahashi was played as a short-stop. In Spring of his second year in a practice game against Kashiwa Municipal High School, Takahashi recorded 2 grand slams in one inning. In Spring of his third and final year, he contributed to victory in the prefectural tournament,[3] hitting .471 along the way. In the final of the tournament, Takahashi recorded what would be a Yamanashi Prefecture record with his 57th home run.[4] In the Summer, his team bombed out of the Yamanashi Prefectural qualifying tournament for the Koshien, but was then selected for the Japanese representative team to play in the 2011 Asian Junior Baseball Championship.[5] In 5 games and 20 at-bats, Takahashi smashed 10 base hits, registering 13 RBIs. In the final against the Republic of Korea, he would hit a 2-run homer that would make up his 71st home run as a high schooler,[6] the 9th most in history for a high schooler,[7] as well as claim tournament MVP honors.[8]

In the 2011 NPB Draft, Takahashi was the first pick for the Orix Buffaloes, Tokyo Yakult Swallows and the Chunichi Dragons where the Dragons won the rights to negotiate for the youngster's contract.[9] He became the first high schooler in NPB draft history to have 3 teams select him as their first pick despite not having Koshien experience. On the 25th of November at a hotel within Yokohama city, Shuhei signed a provisional contract worth 12 million yen per year with a sign on bonus of 100 million yen. This became the highest wage ever given to a high schooler in Chunichi history.[10]

Takahashi was given the number 31 which was, up until 2009, worn by first-baseman Masahiko Morino.[10]

Professional career[edit]

Chunichi Dragons[edit]


On the June 17, Shuhei hit his first pro homerun, the winner, at the Kyocera Dome off the pitching of Orix Buffaloes (Now Softbank Hawks) righty, Hayato Terahara. He became the youngest drafted high school hitter to achieve the feat at 18 years, 4 months old and the first high school rookie to hit a homer for the Dragons since Masahiko Morino in 1997 and 8th overall. It was also only the second time that a maiden homer by a high school rookie became the winning run, the last time being by Morimichi Takagi in 1960.[11][12] He would also rake 7 homeruns to claim home-run champion honours in the Western League.[13]


Due to an injury to Dominican 3rd baseman, Hector Luna, Takahashi was given the chance to state his credentials in his preferred position for the last half of the season.[13] On August 1 in a game against the Hanshin Tigers at Koshien Stadium, Takahashi became the youngest player in Chunichi history to hit a come from behind grand slam.[14] In the off-season, Takahashi switched numbers with outfielder Kei Nomoto with the young infielder taking on the number 9.[15]


With regular all-star short-stop Hirokazu Ibata leaving the team for the Yomiuri Giants at the end of the 2013 season and Luna and Morino set at 3rd and 1st base respectively, Takahashi was given a chance in the pre-season to solidify his spot as a regular at Ibata's former position.[16] However, due to poor batting form, he did not make the opening day roster with Anderson Hernandez being preferred over him.[17] Following that set-back, Takahashi was deployed in the Western league at either third base or short-stop, and, as with the previous year, made his return to the first team with an injury to Luna. On July 7, he was promoted to the first team to be the replacement third-baseman and on the July 14, hit his first homerun of the season against the Yokohama DeNA BayStars while homering again against the Giants at Nagoya Dome on July 25. On August 12, Takahashi registered his 8th home run of the season at Gifu Prefectural Baseball Stadium with an out of the park home run.[18]

Once again in the off-season, Shuhei had his number changed this time to the famed number of Dragons legend, Kazuyoshi Tatsunami the number 3. (The number had been vacated by the departing Daiki Yoshikawa; Takahashi's 9 was given to the newly drafted Shun Ishikawa)[19]


Takahashi experienced a poor season with the bat, averaging only .208 and as such was dropped from the first team in July not to return for the rest of the season. In the off-season he along with team mates Tomohiro Hamada, Iori Katsura, Shota Tomonaga and Junki Kishimoto were loaned to the Taiwanese winter league[20] where Shuhei averaged .254 with 2 homeruns.[21]


With the release of Hector Luna in the off-season, Shuhei was all but guaranteed third-base and took his place in the starting day line-up,[22] batting 7, against the Hanshin Tigers.[13] After Ryosuke Hirata's injury early in the season, due to superb batting form, Shuhei was elevated to number 3 in the line-up.[13] Up until the end of April, he was averaging .276 with 3 homers and 13 RBIs. However on April 30, Shuhei broke a bone in his wrist while playing against the Hiroshima Carp where he had to be substituted mid-game and as such was de-registered from the first team the following day.[23]

On July 28, after spending time with the farm team recuperating, Takahashi made his return to the Dragons line-up against the Yokohama DeNA Baystars batting 6th in the line-up fielding at third-base.[24] He contributed to the 15-2 victory with 2 hits and 4 RBIs to mark a tremendous return to the starting line-up against his hometown team.[25]

2016 ended with Takahashi touching personal best totals for season at-bats, RBIs, hits and OBP.


Shuhei enjoys shopping and his favourite food is ramen.[26]

Due to the influence of his older brother, he is a fan of Tsuyoshi Nagabuchi.[26] His brother is a former member of the Tokai University Sagami High School baseball team.[27]

Growing up, Takahashi was a keen admirer of Giants and New York Yankees legend, Hideki Matsui. When he was drafted by the Dragons, he made mention of his respect and admiration for his new team-mate, Masahiko Morino.[28]

Since 2014 he has been sponsored by Adidas.[29]

Shuhei shares the same hometown as team-mate Shinnosuke Ogasawara and the two attended the same elementary school and played at the same junior baseball side Shonan Boys.[30][31] They played together in a local park as boys and their homes are said to be separated by about 10 minutes walk.[30] When Shuhei turned professional with the Dragons, it was the then middle-school student Ogasawara that presented him with a celebratory bouquet.[32]

On January 4, 2017, it was announced that Takahashi had married local Aichi office worker, Yuri, following a 4 year relationship with plans to hold a wedding ceremony at the end of the 2017 season.[33]

Career statistics[edit]

Nippon Professional Baseball
2012 18 Chunichi 41 71 5 11 1 0 2 18 3 0 .155 .178 .254 .432
2013 19 66 197 19 49 13 1 5 79 27 0 .249 .290 .401 .691
2014 20 61 144 14 37 8 1 6 65 14 0 .257 .292 .451 .744
2015 21 51 154 10 32 6 1 4 52 18 2 .208 .287 .338 .624
2016 22 75 255 28 64 14 2 4 94 29 0 .251 .319 .369 .690
Career 293 820 76 193 42 5 21 308 91 2 .235 .290 .376 .666

Bold indicates league leader; statistics current as of 29 September 2016


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  2. ^ "湘南ボーイズ 1 - 2 大阪南海ボーイズ 2007年 ジャイアンツカップ 決勝 (Shonan Boys 1-2 Osaka Nankai Boys 2007 Giants Cup Final)". Kyureki (in Japanese). 17 August 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2016. 
  3. ^ "東海大甲府が11度目の優勝 春の高校野球山梨県大会(Tokai University Kofu with 11th victory in Yamanashi Prefecture Spring HS baseball tournament)". Asahi Shimbun (in Japanese). 5 May 2011. Retrieved 16 June 2016. 
  4. ^ "高橋 周平(東海大甲府)(Shuhei Takahashi Tokai Uni Kofu)". Draftrepo (in Japanese). 28 October 2011. Retrieved 16 June 2016. 
  5. ^ "高校日本代表・第9回アジアAAA野球選手権大会(Japanese National team for the 2011 Asian Junior Baseball Championship)". Japan High School Baseball Federation (in Japanese). Retrieved 16 June 2016. 
  6. ^ "Japan's Professional Team Drafted A Softball Player". BFJ Baseball Federation of Japan. 28 October 2011. Retrieved 16 June 2016. 
  7. ^ "主な高校生強打者の通算本塁打 (High School Slugger Total Homeruns)". 高校野球-info. Retrieved 25 July 2016. 
  8. ^ "Final Day of 9th 18U Asian Baseball Championship: Japan wins the Championship for the first time since 2005". BFJ Baseball Federation of Japan. 1 September 2011. Retrieved 15 June 2016. 
  9. ^ "Fighters win rights to Tokai pitcher Sugano". Japan Times. 28 October 2011. Retrieved 16 June 2016. 
  10. ^ a b "中日ドラ1高橋 森野後継「31」で仮契約 (Chunichi Draft pick #1 Takahashi: With a provisional contract takes over Morino's 31)". Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). Retrieved 16 June 2016. 
  11. ^ "高木監督以来52年ぶり!18歳高橋周、プロ1号V弾 (52 years since manager Takagi! 18 year old Takahashi's first pro winning homer)". Sponichi Annex (in Japanese). 18 June 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2016. 
  12. ^ "高橋周 18歳4カ月は最年少アーチ 中日では森野以来の高卒1年目本塁打 (Shu Takahashi: At 18 years 4 months the youngest 1st year high school homer hitter since Morino)". Sponichi Annex (in Japanese). 18 June 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2016. 
  13. ^ a b c d "ついに大器が目を覚ました!?開幕から躍動する高橋、細谷、坂田(Have the young guns finally awoken!? Starting on open day; Takahashi, Hosoya, Sakata)". Sponichi (in Japanese). 14 April 2016. Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  14. ^ "中日高橋周19歳6カ月満弾 セ年少2番目(19 1/2 year old Chunichi's Shu Takahashi grand slam; 2nd ever)". Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). 2 August 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2016. 
  15. ^ "新背番号のお知らせ (New player number announcement)". Chunichi Dragons Official (in Japanese). 9 December 2013. Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  16. ^ "中日高橋周、独り立ちで遊撃獲り誓う (Chunichi's Shuhei Takahashi promises to make short-stop his own)". Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). 23 December 2013. Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  17. ^ "中日2014年開幕登録一覧 (Chunichi's 2014 opening day roster)". Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). 26 March 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  18. ^ "中日高橋周が場外弾!「積極的にいった」(Chunichi's Shuhei Takahashi's out of the park homerun! "I hit it just right"". Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). 12 August 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  19. ^ "中日が来季の背番号変更を発表 高橋周が背番号「3」に…"ミスタードラゴンズ"立浪氏を超えられるか (Presentation of Chunichi's player number changes; Takashu changed to "3"; "Can he do better than Mr Dragons, Kazuyoshi Tatsunami?)". Baseball King (in Japanese). 11 December 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  20. ^ "中日が高橋周平ら5人を台湾ウインターリーグ派遣 (Chunichi send 5 on-loan to Taiwanese winter league)". Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). 23 November 2015. Retrieved 17 June 2016. 
  21. ^ "中日高橋周「結果に左右されないように」振り続ける (Chunichi's Shuhei Takahashi "I won't be dependent on results": continues to swing)". Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). 22 December 2015. Retrieved 17 June 2016. 
  22. ^ "オコエら1軍/12球団開幕出場選手登録一覧 (Okoe and others in first team/ 12 team opening day rosters)" (in Japanese). Nikkan Sports. 23 March 2016. Retrieved 7 November 2016. 
  23. ^ "中日高橋周平が右手有鉤骨骨折、先発も2打席で交代 (Chunichi's Shuhei Takahashi fractured wrist, starter also replaced after 2 at-bats)". Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). 1 May 2016. Retrieved 17 June 2016. 
  24. ^ "一軍復帰で大活躍 中日・高橋周平はCS進出"最後の切り札"(Return to the first team: Chunichi's Shuhei Takahashi aims for Climax series "The Last Trump Card")". Nikkan Gendai (in Japanese). 29 July 2016. Retrieved 1 August 2016. 
  25. ^ "Thursday, July 28, 2016". Nippon Professional Baseball. 28 July 2016. Retrieved 1 August 2016. 
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  27. ^ "高校通算71本塁打の主砲" (in Japanese). Tokai University News. 1 January 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2016. 
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  29. ^ "高橋周平選手/西川遥輝選手/山田哲人選手 (Shuhei Takahashi/Haruki Nishikawa/ Tetsuto Yamada)" (PDF). TheNewsMarket (in Japanese). Retrieved 17 June 2016. 
  30. ^ a b "実家が近所の小笠原加入で中日・周平に刺激 (Shuhei stimulated by hometown neighbour Ogasawara's addition to Dragons)" (in Japanese). Tokyo Sports. 25 October 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2016. 
  31. ^ "中日1位小笠原「心強い」チームに先輩周平アニキ (Draft pick #1 Ogasawara reassured by former team-mate, big bro, Shuhei)". 23 October 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2016. 
  32. ^ "【中日】ドラ1小笠原、幼なじみ高橋周と対面「気持ちが高ぶった」 (Chunichi: Draft #1 Ogasawara, "it was fantastic to see Shuhei")" (in Japanese). Sports Hochi. 27 December 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2016. 
  33. ^ "中日高橋周平が結婚発表 挙式・披露宴はシーズン後" [Chunichi's Shuhei Takahashi announces marriage, ceremony and reception at year's end.] (in Japanese). Nikkan Sports. 4 January 2017. Retrieved 13 January 2017. 

External links[edit]