Hirokazu Sawamura

From BR Bullpen


Hirokazu Sawamura (澤村 拓一)

BR minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Hirokazu Sawamura won the 2011 Central League Rookie of the Year Award in a landslide.

Sawamura was 19-14 with a 1.31 ERA and 266 strikeouts in college; he was timed at 97 mph. He pitched for Japan in the 2009 Asian Championship. He got the call in the finale and allowed only two hits and one run in beating South Korea to clinch the Gold Medal for Japan. He turned down offers from Major League Baseball. The Yomiuri Giants took him in the first round in the 2010 draft.

As a rookie in 2011, the Chuo alumnus was 11-11 with a 2.03 ERA. He cruised to the 2011 Central League Rookie of the Year Award, with 235 of 249 votes; second place went to fellow 2010 first-rounder Daiki Enokida with 7 votes. Sawamura was the first Rookie of the Year with 200+ innings since Hideo Nomo in 1990 and the first Central League Rookie of the Year with 200+ innings since Shigeyuki Takahashi in 1964. He was among the CL's top 10 in numerous pitching departments: ERA (3rd behind Kazuki Yoshimi and Tetsuya Utsumi), innings (5th between Atsushi Nomi and Yoshimi), losses (tied for 5th), wins (tied for 6th with Shohei Tateyama), complete games (5, tied for second with Yoshimi), homers allowed (14, tied for 3rd with Yuya Fukui and Kenta Maeda), hits allowed (149, 8th between Nomi and Tateyama), strikeouts (174, 3rd behind Maeda and Nomi), wild pitches (6, tied for 3rd), walks (45, tied for 8th with Minoru Iwata and Randy Messenger), WHIP (0.97, 3rd behind Yoshimi and Tateyama) and opponent average (.210, 3rd behind Iwata and Yoshimi). He became the 4th straight Giant to be named Rookie of the Year, the first team to pull off four in a row. He followed 2008 pitcher Tetsuya Yamaguchi and outfielders Tetsuya Matsumoto and Hisayoshi Chono.

With an overhand delivery Sawamura throws a 90-92 mph four-seam fastball (tops out at 96 mph), slider, occasional curveball and a splitter.