Takuya Kai

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Takuya Kai
甲斐.jpg
Kai with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks
Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks – No. 19
Catcher
Born: (1992-11-05) November 5, 1992 (age 27)
Ōita, Ōita, Japan
Bats: Right Throws: Right
NPB debut
June 7, 2014, for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks
NPB statistics
(through 2019 season)
Batting average.237
Home runs23
RBI99
Hits214
Stolen base15
Sacrifice bunt68
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Takuya Kai (甲斐 拓也, Kai Takuya, born November 5, 1992, in Ōita, Ōita) is a Japanese professional baseball catcher for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB).

Professional career[edit]

On October 28, 2010, Kai was drafted by the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks as a developmental squad player(ja:育成選手制度 (日本プロ野球)) in the 2010 Nippon Professional Baseball draft with Kodai Senga and Taisei Makihara. [1][2][3]

In 2011-2013 season, he played in informal matches against Shikoku Island League Plus's teams and amateur baseball teams, and played in the Western League of NPB's minor leagues.

On November 21, 2013, he signed a 5 million yen contract with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks as a registered player under management. (ja:支配下選手登録)[4]

On June 7, 2014, Kai debuted in the Interleague play (NPB) against the Hiroshima Toyo Carp.[5] And he was selected as the Japan Series roster in the 2014 Japan Series.[6]

In 2015 season, although he played only one game, he was selected as the Japan Series roster in the 2015 Japan Series.[7]

On June 16, 2016, Kai recorded his first hit and RBI with a Pinch hitter.[8] In 2016 season, he finished the regular season in 13 games with a batting average of .167 and a RBI of 1.

In the 2017 season, Kai mainly teamed up with Young starter pitchers such as Kodai Senga, Nao Higashihama, Shuta Ishikawa and Yuki Matsumoto. On May 3, he recorded his first home run in the Grand Slam.[9] he finished the regular season in 103 games with a batting average of .232, a 5 home runs and a RBI of 18.

In the 2017 Japan Series, Kai and Senga's battery were the first to win the Japan Series as players who was drafted as a developmental squad player.[10] On November 17, He won the 2017 Pacific League Mitsui Golden Glove Award and 2017 Pacific League Best Nine Award for the first time as a player drafted as a developmental squad player.[11][12]

In the 2018 season, Kai finished the regular season in 133 games with a batting average of .213, a 7 home runs and a RBI of 37. On July 3, he was selected for the 2018 NPB All-Star game [jp].[13]

In the 2018 Japan Series, Kai set a Japan Series record with six consecutive caught stealings, and won the Japan Series Most Valuable Player Award.[14] On November 29, he won the 2018 Pacific League Mitsui Golden Glove Award.[15]

In the 2019 season, kai finished the regular season in 137 games with a batting average of .260, a 11 home runs and a RBI of 43, as a regular catcher of Hawks. On July 1, he as selected for the 2019 NPB All-Star game.[16] On September 6, he supported Senga's No-hitter achievement as a catcher.[17]

In the 2019 Japan Series, he contributed to the team as a starting catcher, and Hawks achieved the third consecutive Japan Series Champion.On October 31, he was selected the 2019 Pacific League Mitsui Golden Glove Award.[18]

International career[edit]

Kai with the Japan national baseball team

Kai represented the Japan national baseball team in the 2018 MLB Japan All-Star Series and 2019 WBSC Premier12.

On October 12, 2017, he was selected as the Japan national baseball team in the 2017 Asia Professional Baseball Championship.[19]

On October 10, 2018, he was selected to the 2018 MLB Japan All-Star Series.[20] He was presented with a bat, Catcher's mitts, leggers and protector from Yadier Molina.[21][22]

On October 1, 2019, he was selected to the 2019 WBSC Premier12.[23]

Skills profile[edit]

Kai's pop-time averaged 1.83 seconds (855 2/3 Innings), the fastest recorded 1.73 seconds.[24][25]

His strong throw is called Kai Cannon (甲斐キャノン).[26] "Kai Cannon" is named after Gun Cannon appearing in Mobile Suit Gundam and its pilot Kai Shiden.[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Nikkan Sports baseball news (Japanese) 由規弟ら各球団育成選手一覧/ドラフト". Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). October 28, 2010. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  2. ^ ja:2010年度新人選手選択会議 (日本プロ野球)
  3. ^ In the NPB, in addition to the 70 registered players under management (roster of players) , each team can have developmental squad players for the purpose of improving their baseball skills and training manners. They aim to be promoted to registered players under management within the 3 year contract period (Non-tender FA players and contract expired players renew their contract every year).
  4. ^ "Nikkan Sports baseball news (Japanese) ソフトB育成の猪本と拓也を支配下契約". Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). November 22, 2013. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  5. ^ "Nippon Professional Baseball (Japanese) 2014年6月7日 (土) 2014年度 公式戦 試合結果 (広島東洋vs福岡ソフトバンク)". NPB.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  6. ^ "Nippon Professional Baseball (Japanese) SMBC日本シリーズ2014 出場資格者 福岡ソフトバンクホークス". NPB.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  7. ^ "Nippon Professional Baseball (Japanese) SMBC日本シリーズ2015 出場資格者 福岡ソフトバンクホークス". NPB.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  8. ^ "Nishinippon Shimbun baseball news (Japanese) 6年目拓也初安打&初打点". Nishinippon Shimbun (in Japanese). June 17, 2016. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  9. ^ "Nishinippon Shimbun baseball news (Japanese) 甲斐、プロ1号逆転満塁弾 ホークス今季最多17安打で14点". Nishinippon Shimbun (in Japanese). May 2, 2017. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  10. ^ "Nishinippon Shimbun baseball news (Japanese) ソフトB千賀 日本S初星 育成出身初!!シリーズ初戦先発". Nishinippon Shimbun (in Japanese). October 29, 2017. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  11. ^ "Nishinippon Shimbun baseball news (Japanese) ソフトB甲斐、育成出身捕手初のGグラブ 11度受賞の伊東勤氏からは"キン"言". Nishinippon Shimbun (in Japanese). November 10, 2017. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  12. ^ "Sports Nippon baseball news (Japanese) ソフトB・甲斐、育成出身初のベストナイン受賞 広島から最多5選手". Sports Nippon (in Japanese). November 17, 2017. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  13. ^ "マイナビオールスターゲーム2018 選手間投票結果". NPB.jp 日本野球機構 (in Japanese). July 3, 2018. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  14. ^ Coskrey, Jason (November 4, 2018). "Hawks shut out Carp in Game 6, capture back-to-back Japan Series crowns". The Japan Times. Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  15. ^ "Nikkan Sports baseball news (Japanese) ソフトバンク松田「こだわり」柳田、甲斐とGG賞". Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). November 29, 2018. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  16. ^ "Nikkan Sports baseball news (Japanese) ソフトバンク高橋礼、球宴初選出「全力でプレーを」". Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). July 1, 2019. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  17. ^ "Nikkan Sports baseball news (Japanese) 甲斐「千賀のために」戦略ズバリの133球リード". Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). September 6, 2019. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  18. ^ "Nishinippon Shimbun baseball news (Japanese) 「甲斐キャノン」3年連続ゴールデングラブ 捕手は城島健司以来". Nishinippon Shimbun (in Japanese). October 31, 2019. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  19. ^ "Japan national baseball team news (Japanese) 大会出場メンバー25名を発表 3監督が記者会見で意気込みを語る". Japan national baseball team Official site (in Japanese). October 12, 2017. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  20. ^ "「2018日米野球」に出場する侍ジャパントップチーム選手全28名が決定". 野球日本代表 侍ジャパン オフィシャルサイト (in Japanese). October 10, 2018. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  21. ^ "甲斐キャノンとモリーナが夢コラボ、日米強肩共演の1枚にファン喝采「素敵な写真」". THE ANSWER (in Japanese). November 14, 2018. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  22. ^ "Sports Nippon baseball news (Japanese) 甲斐感激!憧れモリーナからレガース&プロテクター贈られる". Sports Nippon (in Japanese). November 15, 2018. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  23. ^ "「ENEOS 侍ジャパンシリーズ2019」出場選手決定について". 野球日本代表 侍ジャパン オフィシャルサイト (in Japanese). October 1, 2019. Retrieved October 12, 2019.
  24. ^ "(Japanese) ソフトバンク・甲斐と巨人・小林。盗塁阻止率でトップに立つ2人の武器". Sporting News (in Japanese). October 1, 2018. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  25. ^ "Nikkan Sports baseball news (Japanese) 甲斐の最速二塁送球1・71秒/ソフトバンク一押し". Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). January 3, 2018. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  26. ^ "Watch as Japan Series MVP Takuya 'Canon' Kai throws out SIX straight baserunners". CUT4 BY MLB.com. November 5, 2018. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  27. ^ "守備で手にした日本シリーズMVP、「甲斐キャノン」の"誕生秘話"". full-count.jp (in Japanese). November 4, 2018. Retrieved November 1, 2019.

External links[edit]