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Yoshio Itoi

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Yoshio Itoi (糸井 嘉男)

[edit] Biographical Information

Yoshio Itoi is an outfielder.

Itoi was a MVP as a pitcher as a college senior. He was a first-round draft pick by the Nippon Ham Fighters in 2003. He struggled in the minors as a pitcher and was moved to the outfield in 2005.

Itoi hit .306 in 2006 and .319/?/.579 in 2007. He was called up and made his debut in Nippon Pro Baseball, going 1 for 11 with a steal in 2007. Itoi hit .239/.285/.404 in 63 games in 2008 and went 13-for-16 in steals. His first home run came on June 27 versus Ramon Ortiz. He saw some increased time due to injuries to Hichori Morimoto.

Itoi had a breakout year in 2009, again taking advantage of injuries to Morimoto to take over the starting center field job. He finished the season hitting .306/.381/.520 with 40 doubles, 15 home runs and 24 steals (in 30 tries). He was among the Pacific League leaders in average (7th), doubles (1st), runs (74, 10th), sacrifice hits (tied for 7th, 18), tied Tomotaka Sakaguchi for 6th in OBP and 4th in slugging, behind only Takeya Nakamura, Saburo Omura and Terrmel Sledge.

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