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Toru Hosokawa (細川 亨)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 209 lb.
- School Aomori University
- High School Aomori Kita High School
Toru Hosokawa has been the starting catcher for the Seibu Lions for several years.
Hosokawa got his nickname, Kiyoshi, due to his resemblance to a singer named Kiyoshi Hikawa. Hosokawa uses one of Hikawa's songs as his intro when he comes to the plate. He was a second-round draft pick in 2002, taken by the Seibu Lions. He was 0 for 4 as a rookie. In 2003, Toru split catching duties with long-time starter Tsutomu Ito; he hit .200/.243/.349 with 64 strikeouts in 195 AB. His first hit was on April 2 against Masato Yoshii and his first homer was 19 days later against Dae-sung Koo.
Despite his struggles as a rookie, Hosokawa was Seibu's best option for 2004 as Ito had retired. Toru hit .217/.281/.396 with promising power (21 2B, 11 HR in 313 AB) but continued to strike out way too often (104 times). He was 6th in the Pacific League in strikeouts despite his relatively low number of at-bats. He laid down 23 sacrifice hits, second in the PL to Eiji Mizuguchi. On April 4, he hit for the cycle; he had his only triple of the year on that date. He was 1 for 12 with 6 strikeouts in the 2004 Japan Series.
Hosokawa batted .194/.271/.325 in 113 games in 2005, striking out in 86 of 289 AB and leading the league with 7 passed balls. On the other hand, he also led with 27 sacrifices. In 2006, Toru remained under the Mendoza line with a .199/.252/.335 batting clip and 68 Ks in 266 AB. On the other hand, he improved significantly defensively, throwing out a league-best 46.9% of attempted base-stealers after only 25% in '05.
In 2007, Hosokawa improved to .239/.288/.366 and threw out 40.5% of attempted base-stealers, again leading the PL. He showed improved power in 2008, hitting .238/.263/.411 with 16 homers. He struck out 129 times (4th in the PL) and led the league with 8 passed balls. He made his first PL All-Star team, won his first Gold Glove and made the Best Nine at catcher. Seibu went on to win the 2008 Japan Series and 2008 Asia Series.