Futoshi Yamabe

From BR Bullpen

Futoshi Yamabe.jpg

Futoshi Yamabe (山部 太)

  • Bats Left, Throws Left
  • Height 5' 11", Weight 167 lb.

BR Register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Futoshi Yamabe pitched in Nippon Pro Baseball for 13 years.

After high school, Yamabe pitched for NTT Shikoku in the industrial leagues. He won Gold with the Japanese national team in the 1993 Asian Championship. In 1994, he was the first-round pick of the Yakult Swallows in the 1994 NPB draft and on April 26, threw a no-hitter in the Eastern League. His opponent Jun Takeshita was also hitless but allowed a run, and this game was the only game in NPB pro baseball history that both teams' starters completed a no-hitter. With Yakult that year, Yamabe went 1-6 with a 4.03 ERA, striking out 64 in 67 1/3 innings but walking 43. He had his best season in 1995, going 16-7 with a 3.83 ERA, 144 K and 89 walks in 160 innings. He did not allow a run in five and a third innings in the 1995 Japan Series and won game two in relief. Only Masaki Saito won more games in the Central League that year and Yamabe was selected into the 1995 NPB All-Star Game.

In 1996, Futoshi had a 7-4 record and 4.00 ERA and again was an All-Star. Arm injuries began to trouble the youngster. He only went 0-2 with a 3.53 ERA in 25 2/3 innings in '97. He did pitch in the 1997 Japan Series, allowing one run in a third of an inning and took the defeat in game two, Yakult's lone loss of the series. In 1998, Yamabe had a 3-8 record and 4.57 ERA as a starter/reliever and followed that with a 6-7, 5.18 year. He went 1-3, 6.82 season in only 30 1/3 innings in 2000 and in 2001 was 4-2 with a 3.76 ERA. In 2002, Yamabe had a 5-3, 5.53 record and the next season, the 32-year-old southpaw was 2-0 with a 1.05 ERA in joining Hirotoshi Ishii as a fine one-two left-handed punch in the Swallows bullpen.

By 2004, Futoshi was back in trouble at 2-2 with a 7.20 ERA and 2.39 WHIP. In 2005, Yamabe was 0-2 with a 6.43 ERA and 1.76 WHIP in a LOOGY role, only hurling 21 innings in 40 games. He only pitched one more game for the Swallows in 2006, and announced his retirement. After retiring, he was a coach for the Swallows from 2007 to 2010 and from 2014 to 2015.

Overall, Yamabe was 45-45 with a 4.40 ERA, collected 6 holds, struck out 651 and pitched 740 2/3 innings in 13 years in NPB.

Primary Source: Now-defunct Japanbaseballdaily.com by Gary Garland