Yoshinori Sato (02)

From BR Bullpen


Yoshinori Sato (佐藤 由規)

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 10", Weight 167 lb.

BR register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Yoshinori Sato has pitched in Nippon Pro Baseball and CPBL.

Sato no-hit Moscow in the 2002 Little League World Series. In the finale, he was 0 for 2 as Sendai's first baseman in their 1-0 loss to Louisville, KY. He was timed at 96 mph in the Koshien Tournament, a new high school record. He was a first-round pick of the Yakult Swallows in the 2007 NPB draft. He led the Eastern League with 8 wins in 2008 and had a 2-1, 4.55 record with Yakult in ichi-gun.

The Sendai native was 5-10 with a 3.50 ERA in 2009. He tied Les Walrond and Shinobu Fukuhara for 7th in the Central League in losses and tied Shun Tono for second with 57 walks. He still finished third in voting for the 2009 Central League Rookie of the Year Award behind Tetsuya Matsumoto and Wirfin Obispo. He was also selected for the 2009 NPB All-Star Games, and became the first player born in the Heisei era to be selected as an All-Star; he didn't pitch in either game.

In 2010, Sato made history on August 26 when he threw a pitch 161 kph, the fastest by a Japanese player ever, and 1 kph shy of Marc Kroon's Nippon Pro Baseball record. He was the first Japanese player to top 100 mph. He ended up 12-9 with a 3.60 ERA, but also led the league in walks with 74. Sato started 2011 NPB All-Star Game 3, but he allowed 2 runs in 2 innings and got the loss. He injured his right shoulder in September, so he only went 7-6 with a 2.86 ERA in 2011. Sato then spent the next four seasons in the NPB Farm Leagues because he injured his shoulder over and over again. He finally came back in 2016, and went 2-3 with a 4.56 ERA in 5 games. He improved a little in 2017 as he had a 3-5 record with a 4.31 ERA in 10 starts. Yoshinori only started 7 games with a 4.46 ERA in 2018, and the Swallows released him after this season.

His hometown team - the Rakuten Golden Eagles picked him up, but he only pitched one game with the big club for them. After being released by Rakuten after the 2020 season, Sato joined the Saitama Musashi Heat Bear of the Baseball Challenge League. The Rakuten Monkeys of the CPBL then signed him in 2023, but he only pitched one game, allowing 2 runs in 1/3 inning and the Monkeys released him.

Overall, Sato was 32-36 with a 3.66 ERA, struck out 454 and pitched 534 1/3 innings in 8 years in NPB.

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