Yoshihito Ishii (石井 義人)
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- 'Height 5' 10", Weight 176 lb.
- High School Urawa Gakuin High School
Yoshihito Ishii has hit .300 a few times in Nippon Pro Baseball but his playing time has been limited due to defensive limitations.
Ishii was a 4th-round draft pick of the Yokohama BayStars and hit .235/.235/.294 in 10 games in 1997. In 2000, Ishii batted .328/.361/.431 in 41 contests. During 2001, he hit .284/.395/.358 in 53 games with Yokohama. He was 5 for 20 with a double and 2 walks in 22 contests in 2002.
Ishii was traded with Kazushi Hoashi to the Seibu Lions for Satoshi Nakajima and Hisaki Tomioka that off-season. In 2003, he went 5 for 12 with two doubles for Seibu. A year later, he hit .304/.429/.413 in 58 games, serving as the backup 2B to Hiroyuki Takagi. In 2005, Yoshihito batted .312/.391/.430 and topped 100 games for the only time in his first decade as a pro (125 games), playing primarily second base and seeing significant time at third as well. He made the Pacific League All-Star team. He finished 4th in the PL in average behind Kazuhiro Wada, Julio Zuleta and Nobuhiko Matsunaka. He was 6th in walks (51) and 5th in OBP.
In 2006, Ishii hit .312/.389/.414 in 67 games. He was Seibu's third-string 2B and 3B and also played DH. Ishii hit .254/.326/.331 and stole 7 bases in 7 tries in 92 games in 2007. He split third base duties with Takeya Nakamura, who struggled, and backed up Yasuyuki Kataoka at second base.
Ishii hit .278/.328/.392 for the Lions in 2008. He saw significant time at first base for the first time after Craig Brazell was injured late in the season. This opened time for Ishii to play first in both the 2008 Japan Series and 2008 Asia Series. In the Asia Series, he scored the only run in the championship game. He drew a full-count bases-loaded walk from Wei-Lun Pan of the Uni-President Lions with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th; the walk was controversial as Ishii had a check swing on the play which the umpire called a ball. Ishii then scored from first on a liner by Tomoaki Sato to win the game.