Hiroyuki Takagi (高木 浩之)
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 5' 8", Weight 150 lb.
Takagi was a 4th-round draft pick out of college. He hit .227/.292/.273 in 24 plate appearances for Seibu in 1995. He played 48 games in 1996, batting .200/.274/.221. He became Seibu's main second baseman in 1997 and hit .278/.324/.333. He was 4 for 9 in the 1997 Japan Series, one of Seibu's bright spots as they lost in five games. He retained the role in 1998, though both Norio Tanabe and Brian Raabe saw action there; Takagi hit .202/.262/.275 in 111 games. During the 1998 Japan Series, the 26-year-old hit .294/.333/.294, playing every game despite his regular season woes. Seibu fell to the Yokohama BayStars in six contests.
Hiroyuki hit .265/.297/.341 in 1999 and made the Pacific League All-Star team. He only played 61 games and had 97 at-bats in 2000, when Seibu had no regular second sacker; Takagi hit a meek .165/.261/.165.
In 2001, the veteran infielder hit .286/.344/.313 in 65 games. He batted .272/.324/.314 in 2002 and stole 11 bases in 12 tries while also hitting .374 with runners in scoring position. He fielded .984 and won his only Gold Glove at second base. He also was named to the Best Nine as the top overall second sacker in the PL. It was an odd choice, presumably hinged on defense, as Tadahito Iguchi and Koichi Hori both outhit Takagi. In the 2002 Japan Series, Takagi split second base with Hiroshi Hirao and went 2 for 9 as Seibu was swept by the Yomiuri Giants.
Takagi hit .257/.331/.334 in 2003 and made his second and last All-Star team. He hit .254/.316/.328 in 2004. He hit .294/.400/.294 in the 2004 Japan Series as Seibu finally won it all during his career.
By 2005, though, Takagi was a third-stringer behind Yoshihito Ishii and Yasuyuki Kataoka; he hit .326/.377/.428 in 48 games while battling vision problems. In 2006, Takagi hit .288/.344/.333 in 69 games, now as a backup to Kataoka. Takagi only played 15 games in 2007, going 2 for 31 with a rare home run and a walk. He was 0 for 1 in 2008 then retired to work in Seibu's player personnel department.
In 1,002 games in Nippon Pro Baseball, Takagi had produced at a .256/.313/.311 rate.
Source: Japan Baseball Daily