Daisuke Kusano

From BR Bullpen

Daisuke Kusano (草野 大輔)

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 7", Weight 171 lb.

BR Register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Daisuke Kusano spent a decade in the Japanese industrial leagues before becoming a pro.

Kusano played for NTT Tokyo from 1995-1998 and NTT Kyushu from 1999-2001. From 2002-2006, he was with Honda Kumamoto.

Kusano began playing for the Japanese national team with the 2003 Baseball World Cup. He hit .289/.333/.526 with 9 runs and 13 RBI in 9 games as their second baseman. He was second on the team in RBI behind MVP Takashi Yoshiura. He tied Yulieski Gourriel for third in the Cup in RBI, trailing only Yoshiura and Audes de Leon. He joined Michel Enríquez, Eduardo Paret and Sharnol Adriana on the tournament All-Star infield, beating out Gourriel and Reinaldo Sato most notably. He helped Japan win a Bronze Medal in the event.

In the 2004 Haarlem Baseball Week, he went 6 for 18 with five walks and 6 RBI, tying for the lead in the latter category. Kusano then won MVP honors in the 2005 Asian Championship in helping Japan to Gold. In the 2005 Baseball World Cup, the industrial league veteran hit .267/.436/.600 with 7 runs and 10 RBI in 9 games while playing error-free defense. He was a triple shy of the cycle in a win over Colombia. Yung-Chi Chen was named the All-Star second base instead.

Kusano was chosen by the Rakuten Golden Eagles in the 8th round of the 2005 NPB draft. Starting his professional baseball career at age 30, Kusano batted .210/.262/.270 in 42 games for Rakuten in 2006. Kusano became Rakuten's primary third baseman during 2007 and hit .320/.389/.456. Had he qualified (he finished with 387 plate appearances), he would have ranked third in the Pacific League in average behind Atsunori Inaba and Rick Short.

Kusano slumped to .271/.321/.345 for Rakuten in 2008 and only hit 3 home runs despite routinely batting third in the order.