Kenji Otonari

From BR Bullpen

Kenji Otonari (大隣 憲司)

  • Bats Left, Throws Left
  • Height 5' 9", Weight 187 lb.

BR register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Kenji Otonari has been a pitcher in Nippon Pro Baseball.

Otonari set a Japanese national college tournament record with 19 strikeouts in 2005. He no-hit Ritsumeikan University on September 30, 2006. Overall, he had a 22-11, 1.41 record in college. The SoftBank Hawks picked him in the first round of the 2006 NPB draft. He battled back problems as a rookie. In his first at-bat in 2007, he singled off Hiroki Kuroda. He went 2-4 with a 5.98 ERA in 8 games that year.

Kenji became a regular in the Hawks rotation in 2008, going 11-8 with a 3.12 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and .217 opponent average. He struck out a player in all nine innings on March 25 against the Chiba Lotte Marines, the first NPB hurler to accomplish that feat in a March game. On April 2, he threw his first shutout in NPB, a two-hitter versus the Nippon Ham Fighters. On May 29, in an interleague game, he hit a homer, a 2-run shot off Futoshi Kobayashi. He finished among the PL leaders in ERA (6th, between Toshiya Sugiuchi and Yoshihisa Naruse), wins (tied for 8th with Kazuhisa Ishii and Kazuyuki Hoashi), losses (tied for 8th), complete games (4th with 6), shutouts (tied for second with 2) and strikeouts (tied for 6th with Takayuki Kishi at 138).

Otonari fell to 8-10, 4.59 in 2009. He was 5th in the PL in losses, 4th in homers allowed (19), tied Kishi and Brian Sweeney for 5th in runs allowed (73) and was 6th with 66 earned runs allowed. He had a 4-9, 4.31 record in 2010. He tied Hisashi Iwakuma and Ming-Chieh Hsu for 7th in the league in losses. He battled injury in 2011 but did well when healthy (3-0, 2.34). He pitched for the Águilas Cibaeñas in the 2011-2012 Dominican League (0-2, 3.52, 27 K in 23 IP).

In 2012, the southpaw was 12-8 with a 2.03 ERA. He was tied for 4th in wins (with Naruse and Seth Greisinger), 4th in ERA (after Mitsuo Yoshikawa, Masahiro Tanaka and Tadashi Settsu), second in complete games (6, two behind Tanaka), tied for first in shutouts (3, even with Yoshikawa and Tanaka) and 5th in strikeouts (134, between Kishi and Naruse). He made the PL All-Star team.

Otonari was put on the Japanese national team roster for the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

Otonari throws a slider, changeup, forkball and fastball (peak 92 mph).