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Tomotaka Sakaguchi

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Tomotaka Sakaguchi (坂口 智隆)

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 11", Weight 167 lb.

[edit] Biographical Information

Tomotaka Sakaguchi has won multiple Gold Gloves in Japan.

Sakaguchi was a pitcher in high school. He was a first-round pick of the Kintetsu Buffaloes in 2002, the first player from high school ever to be drafted by a Nippon Pro Baseball team. They turned him into an outfielder.

Sakaguchi was 1 for 5 with a walk in 2003, getting his first game on October 7. In his first at-bat in NPB, he got an infield hit off Mac Suzuki. In 2004, Sakaguchi was 0 for 4 with a walk and a run. The Buffaloes merged with the Orix BlueWave to become the Orix Buffaloes after that season.

Sakaguchi was 1 for 6 with a double and a run in 2005 and 2 for 22 with 3 walks, 3 steals, a homer, 3 runs and 2 RBI the next year. His first home run was on July 15 off Hiroki Yamamura.

Sakaguchi became a bench player in 2007, hitting .241/.273/.299 in 46 games. He was promoted to the starting center field job in 2008, batting .278/.310/.339 with 13 steals in 16 tries. He was 6 for 7 with 11 RBI with the bases loaded that season. He was named a Gold Glove outfielder, joining Atsunori Inaba and Hichori Morimoto as the honorees in the Pacific League. He was 10th in the PL in hits (150) and tied for third in triples (6).

In 2009, Sakaguchi improved his batting line to .317/.381/.416 with 16 steals (in 20 tries) and 82 runs. He finished second in the PL in average (.010 behind Teppei Tsuchiya), second in hits (167, 6 behind Hiroyuki Nakajima), 6th in runs, third in triples (behind Tsuchiya and Munenori Kawasaki), 10th in steals and tied for 6th in OBP (with Yoshio Itoi). He won another Gold Glove, joining Inaba and Itoi as winners.

Source: Japanbaseballdaily.com

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