Katsuki Matayoshi

From BR Bullpen

Katsuki Matayoshi (又吉 克樹)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 10", Weight 163 lb.

BR register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Katsuki Matayoshi has made multiple All-Star teams in Japan. His brother Akifumi Matayoshi played in Japan's independent leagues. [1]

Matayoshi was 13-18 in college, but won an ERA title. [2] He signed with the independent Kagawa Olive Guyners for 2013; he was 13-4 with a 1.64 ERA, leading the Shikoku Island League in wins and finishing second in ERA. [3] His fastball, peaking at 68 mph when he began college, was now in the low 90s. [4] He was then picked by the Chunichi Dragons in the second round of the 2013 NPB draft, one round after Shota Suzuki. [5]

He was superb as a rookie in 2014, going 9-1 with two saves, a 2.21 ERA, .86 WHIP and 104 K in 81 1/3 IP. He was second to Central League leader Koji Fukutani in games pitched and easily led full-time relievers in strikeouts, 23 ahead of Seung-hwan Oh. He finished second to Daichi Osera in voting for the 2014 Central League Rookie of the Year Award, 217 votes to 24. [6] He was one of the Licey Tigers' top relievers that winter, striking out 24 in 16 innings with a 1.69 ERA and 1.00 WHIP, though he was 0-2. Only Warner Madrigal and Juan Jaime pitched more games for Licey.

The Okinawa native pitched for Team Japan against Team Europe in a March 2015 exhibition series, getting the win over Loek van Mil in the opener as Japan rallied. [7] He was 6-6 with a 3.36 ERA and 82 K in 72 1/3 IP in 2015, not nearly as dominant as a rookie but still sharp. He tied Scott Mathieson and Oh for 5th in the CL with 63 games pitched.

In 2016, he was again 6-6, this time with a 2.80 ERA and 55 K in 54 2/3 IP. He tied Kota Suda for 9th in the league with 62 games pitched. He made his first CL All-Star team the next year. In 2017 NPB All-Star Game 1, he relieved Akitake Okada in the 7th with a 2-1 lead over the Pacific League. He allowed singles to Seiichi Uchikawa and Haruki Nishikawa then retired Nobuhiro Matsuda and Sho Nakata (the latter by strikeout). Alfredo Despaigne singled, though, to tie the game, before Matoyoshi recovered to fan Brandon Laird. Marcos Mateo took over and the CL could not hold on. [8] He was 8-3 with a 2.13 ERA for 2017 and worked out of the rotation for the first time, making nine appearances in addition to 41 in relief.

The right-hander fell to 2-5, 6.53 in a rough 2018. He was 3-3 with a 4.06 ERA in 2019 and 4-0, 2.77 in 2020 as his comeback continued. In 2021 NPB All-Star Game 1, he relieved Kazuki Mishima with a 4-3 lead in the 6th and struck out Laird like in 2017's All-Star Game. He then got Masataka Yoshida and Yutaro Sugimoto to end the inning. Scott McGough relieved in the 7th. [9] He finished the 2021 season 3-2 with 8 saves and a 1.28 ERA, showing he was back. He tied McGough for second in the league in games pitched (66), 6 behind Noboru Shimizu.