From BR Bullpen
Kei Nomoto (野本圭)
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 5' 11", Weight 168 lb.
Outfielder Kei Nomoto has played in the past for the Japanese national team.
Nomoto was undrafted out of college. He played for Japan in the 2006 Asian Games and 2006 Intercontinental Cup. In the latter event, he hit .381/.458/.476 and stole 3 bases in 4 tries as Japan's center fielder. He was second in the event in steals, trailing Paul Rutgers. He played for Nippon Express in the industrial leagues in 2007-2008. In the 2007 Baseball World Cup, he hit .243/.317/.324 and had one assist from right field. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th of a 5-1 game against Team USA, Nomoto struck out against Chris Booker to end the contest. Facing Fernando Gutierrez, he drove in Ken Kume with the winner in a 4-3 win over Spain to avoid an upset. He led Japan with 2 RBI in the 5-0 Bronze Medal win over the Dutch national team, going 2 for 4 with a double.
In the 2008 NPB draft, Nomoto was picked in the first round by both the Chunichi Dragons and Rakuten Golden Eagles. Chunichi won the lottery for the rights for the outfielder. They signed him and he made his pro debut on Opening Day, going 0 for 1 after replacing Kazuki Inoue in right field.