|Hanshin Tigers – No. 28|
|Born: May 30, 1995|
|2017, for the Hanshin Tigers|
|Career statistics |
|Earned Run Average||4.61|
Early baseball career
Taiki started playing softball in 1st grade, and went to play for the Koujaku Junior High softball team. Upon entering Orio Aishin High, he became the baseball team's ace pitcher in his 2nd year, but his team never made it to Koshien. With a desire to play in the professional leagues upon graduating high school, he submitted his application for the autumn professional baseball draft. But when none of the 12 teams drafted him, he decided to enter Fuji University in Iwate.
He was a regular starter for his team as they participated in the Northern Tohoku University Baseball League. In his 3rd year, he won all of his starts, and grabbed the league's title for best pitcher with an untarnished ERA of 0.00. The following year, he finished with a 0.45 ERA, won the league MVP and best nine award, and helped his team win the championships. He left the league with a 12–1 win-loss record.
He was the Tiger's 2nd round pick during the 2016 professional draft. He signed a 70 million yen contract with Hanshin, for an estimated annual salary of 12 million yen. He was assigned jersey number 28, which formerly belonged to reliever Shinobu Fukuhara who retired in 2016, and is currently working as a pitching coach for Hanshin's farm league team.
Along with fellow draftees Kento Itohara and Yūsuke Ōyama, Taiki joined the main roster's spring training camp. His 150 kph fastball was highly regarded by coaches, so he remained with the main roster until the camp ended. However, due to his lackluster performance during the pre-season games (3 games, 6.55 ERA), he was sent back to the farms before opening day.
He debuted on May 21 match against the Yakult Swallows in Meiji Jingu, where he pitted against fellow uni-drafted rookie Tomoya Hoshi. While he gave up 4 earned runs including 2 home runs and didn't grab the win, Hanshin won the match when they took back the lead on the 7th.
With an overhand delivery, he throws a four-seam fastball averaging 145 kph (tops out at 151 kph), a forkball clocked at low 130s, an occasional curveball, and a solid slider that ranges from 120-140kph. His fastest pitch ever recorded was a 153 kph fastball, thrown during spring camp training.
His father, being an avid fan of horse racing, named him "Taiki" (泰己) after the famous racehorse Taiki Blizzard whose total earnings exceeded 1 billion yen back in the 1990s.
- NPB Statistics
- Nippon Professional Baseball career statistics from JapaneseBaseball.com
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference (Minors)
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- 2017年度 大野 雄大【中日】投手成績詳細
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