Yudai Kawai

From BR Bullpen

Yudai Kawai (川井 雄太) formerly known as Susumu Kawai

BR minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Yudai Kawai has been an All-Star pitcher in Nippon Pro Baseball.

Kawai was drafted by the Chunichi Dragons in the fourth round in 2004. He was 0-1 with a 4.09 ERA in 2005. He did not pitch in ichi-gun in 2006 and missed 2007 due to injury. In 2008, the southpaw was 1-5 with a 3.97 ERA. He walked only 11 in 56 2/3 innings but allowed a .303 average.

Kawai began 2009 on a high note, winning his first 11 decisions. This was a Chunichi franchise record. He made the Central League All-Star team. Things went sour from there, as he dropped his last five deciisions. For the year, he had a 3.78 ERA. He tied Daisuke Miura and Colby Lewis for 7th in the league in wins. The Nagano native was 1-3 with a 3.21 ERA in limited action in 2010. He rebounded to 5-3, 2.39 in 2011 and would have been 6th in the CL in ERA had he qualified (between Minoru Iwata and Bryan Bullington). In the 2011 Japan Series, he started game four for Chunichi, trying to protect a 2-game-to-1 lead over the Softbank Hawks. He allowed hits to three of the first four batters (Munenori Kawasaki, Seiichi Uchikawa and Hiroki Kokubo) to let in one run and an error by six-time Gold Glove winner Masahiro Araki allowed another. He allowed only two hits in shutting out Softbank for the next four innings, but his club failed to garner more than one run against D.J. Houlton and two relievers.

Kawai's repertoire includes a fastball around 90 mph, changeup, slider, sinker and curveball.