Noboru Shimizu (清水 昇)
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 5' 10", Weight 185 lb.
Noboru Shimizu has been an All-Star in Nippon Pro Baseball.
He was 13-7 with a 2.83 ERA in college.  The Yakult Swallows took him in the first round of the 2018 NPB draft.  He struggled in his pro debut in 2019, going 0-3 with a 7.27 ERA for the big team and 5-9, 4.48 on the farm. He was second in the Eastern League in losses, two behind Eito Tanaka.
Shimizu was 0-4 with a 3.54 ERA in 52 games in 2020, making big strides. He tied for the Central League lead in holds (30) and won Middle Reliever of the Year, the first pitcher to do so before having won a game.  He tied Atsuya Horie for 6th in the CL with 52 appearances. He finished third in voting for the 2020 CL Rookie of the Year, behind Masato Morishita and Shosei Togo, though he only had one of the 313 votes. 
In 2021 NPB All-Star Game 1, he relieved Togo in the 4th with a 3-0 deficit against the Pacific League but went 1-2-3 against Leonys Martín, Hotaka Yamakawa and Nien-Ting Wu. By the time Kazuki Mishima took over in the 5th, the CL had closed it to 3-2, beginning their comeback.  He finished the 2021 season 3-6 with a save but with a 2.39 ERA and 74 K in 67 2/3 IP. He broke Kazuki Kondo's team record of 36 holds. He then broke Takuya Asao's NPB hold record, finishing with 50.  He led the CL with 72 appearances, six more than Katsuki Matayoshi and the guy he set up for, Scott McGough. He finished third in voting for the 2021 CL MVP behind Yakult's sluggers Munetaka Murakami and Tetsuto Yamada; his 7 first-place votes were a distant second to Murakami's 287, 2 more than #3 Seiya Suzuki.  He pitched four shutout innings when Yakult beat the Orix Buffaloes in the 2021 Japan Series, the first CL team to win in nine years. 
Shimizu was even better (5-4, 1.16) in 2022, with a 0.79 WHIP. He was 6th in voting for the 2022 CL MVP, between Yasutaka Shiomi and Yasuhiro Ogawa.  He allowed one run in five innings in the 2022 Japan Series but Yakult fell to Orix; he again outperformed closer McGough in the Series.