Yuta Iwasada

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Yuta Iwasada
2016T17.jpg
Hanshin Tigers – No. 17
Pitcher
Born: (1991-09-05) September 5, 1991 (age 27)
Kumamoto City, Kumamoto
Bats: Left Throws: Left
debut
2014, for the Hanshin Tigers
Career statistics
(through 2018)
Games77
Win-Loss24–34
Earned Run Average3.72
Strikeouts403
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Yuta Iwasada (岩貞 祐太, Iwasada Yuta, born September 5, 1991 in Kumamoto City, Kumamoto) is a Japanese professional baseball pitcher who currently plays for the Hanshin Tigers of Nippon Professional Baseball.[1]

Career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Yuta started his baseball career in 4th grade as an outfielder for the Wakaba Elementary School, and in 6th grade, made it to the semi-finals of a national baseball tournament.[2] He doubled as 1st-base infielder and pitcher for the Kumamoto Hitsuyukan Senior High but his team never made it to nationals.

He entered the Yokohama College of Commerce, and in his sophomore year, was chosen to pitch for the national team for the US-Japan Collegiate Baseball Championships. In his senior year, he was awarded Best Nine in the Kanagawa University Baseball League after winning 6 games in the tournament.[3][4]

Hanshin Tigers[edit]

He was the Tiger's 1st round 3rd alternative pick during the 2013 professional draft (after not winning the lottery for Daichi Ohsera and Yuta Kakita). He signed a 100 million yen contract with Hanshin plus a 50 million yen signing bonus, for an estimated annual salary of 15 million yen. He was assigned the jersey no. 17.[5]

In 2014, he joined the main squad for spring camp training in Okinawa, and started the practice game against the Eagles on Feb 19. After the game, he felt pain in his left ankle resulting from a torn ligament, and was consequently restrained from pitching further until he was fully healed.[6] He resumed pitching in the Western League farm games in July, and finally debuted in his first official start on the August 10 home game against the Carps in Kyocera Dome[7] where he gave up 4 runs in 4 innings. His first win came a week after in a match against the Baystars, where he allowed only two runs over 5⅓ innings.[8] He had four more starts after that, but unfortunately lost all of them. He finished the season with a 1–4 record, and an ERA of 4.60.

In 2015, during spring camp, he competed with fellow lefty Suguru Iwazaki from the same draft year for a spot in the pitching rotation, but in the end, Iwazaki prevailed.[9] Only when Iwazaki fell into a slump mid-season did Iwasada get a chance to make it to the lineup. He started the May 24 match against the Baystars, but pitched poorly and promptly lost the match. He made up for it in his next start against the Marines during the interleague, where he pitched 7 scoreless innings and earned his first and only win for the season, and his first ever victory in Koshien.[10]

During off-season, he was selected to pitch for the national team in the Winter League games in Taiwan. After pitching in 5 games, he received the league's Most Valuable Pitcher award after a 2–0 record and an astounding ERA of 0.53.[11]

He selected 2018 NPB All-Star game [jp].[12]

Playing Style[edit]

Pitch Distribution for Yuta Iwasada

He throws a four-seam fastball as his main pitch (max velocity of 148 km/h), and alternates with a cutter in the mid 130s, a slider in 120s and a change-up with a wide velocity range. Also included in his arsenal are a shuuto, a slow curveball in the low 110s, and occasionally a fork ball.[4][13][14]

In 2016, Tigers ace Atsushi Nohmi started teaching him how to master his specialty pitch, the forkball, as well as tips on how to control his changeup better.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "熊本出身の阪神岩貞7回0封、3戦連続2桁K実らず". Nikkan Sports. April 16, 2016. Retrieved April 17, 2016.
  2. ^ "2013ドラフト総決算号". Weekly Baseball Magazine. November 11, 2013.
  3. ^ "「1軍入りを目指せ」 必由館出身・岩貞投手 ドラフトで虎1位 [熊本県]". Nishinippon Shimbun. October 25, 2013. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  4. ^ a b "横浜商大・岩貞が赤丸急上昇!". Daily Sports. October 23, 2013. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  5. ^ "横浜商大・岩貞の阪神入団が決定". Daily Sports. November 10, 2013. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
  6. ^ "阪神ドラフト1位岩貞 長期離脱も 左肘痛…投球再開メド立たず". Sports Nippon. February 27, 2014.
  7. ^ "阪神岩貞悔し…4回4失点KOデビュー". Nikkan Sports. August 10, 2014.
  8. ^ "虎のドラフト1位岩貞プロ1勝 V争い救世主だ". Nikkan Sports. August 18, 2014.
  9. ^ "阪神岩崎、岩貞「第6の男」争い譲らず延長戦へ". Nikkan Sports. March 12, 2015. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  10. ^ "阪神岩貞ビビらず攻めた 悔しさバネに甲子園初勝利". Nikkan Sports. June 5, 2015. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  11. ^ "阪神・岩貞 能見と合同自主トレ実現へ!台湾ウインターリーグ投手MVP手土産に". Sports Nippon. December 22, 2015.
  12. ^ "マイナビオールスターゲーム2018 出場者". NPB.jp 日本野球機構 (in Japanese). July 3, 2018.
  13. ^ "3度目の正直!和田監督、横浜商大・岩貞の交渉権獲得/ドラフト". Sankei Sports. October 24, 2013.
  14. ^ "【10・24ドラフト 注目の新星】横浜商大・岩貞祐太投手 奪三振の山築く即戦力左腕 冷静なマウンドさばきも魅力". Zakzak News. October 22, 2013.
  15. ^ "【阪神】岩貞、能見との合同自主トレで課題のタテ系変化球学ぶ". Sports Hochi. January 17, 2016.