Kazuya Tabata

From BR Bullpen


Kazuya Tabata (田畑 一也)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 10", Weight 176 lbs.

BR register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Kazuya Tabata pitched in Nippon Pro Baseball for 9 years.

Tabata was drafted by the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks in the tenth round of the 1991 NPB draft, so he didn't have many chances at first. He only pitched 43 games combined in his first four seasons. [1] The Hawks traded him with Shinichi Sato to the Yakult Swallows for Ryo Kawano and Shikato Yanagita.[2] Tabata broke out and joined the rotation after changing teams in 1996, and he was selected for the Central League team in the 1996 NPB All-Star Game. He relieved Keiichi Yabu in 7th inning in Game 1; he retired Arihito Muramatsu, struck out Yukio Tanaka, walked Kazuhiro Kiyohara and got his second strikeout (Bernardo Brito) to end this inning; Shinji Sasaoka replaced him. Tabata then relieved Hiroaki Nakayama in the 4th inning in Game 3 in his hometown Toyama. He gave up a walk to Tanaka, and struck out Koichi Hori to complete a shutout inning; Masato Yoshii relieved him. He ended up 12-12 with a 3.51 ERA and ranked 5th in wins (4 behind Balvino Galvez).

The Toyama native had his career year in 1997. He was selected into the 1997 NPB All-Star Game, and replaced Toshikazu Sawazaki in the 7th inning. Tabata struck out Koichiro Yoshinaga and Tuffy Rhodes that inning, but he had trouble in the 8th inning. Koji Akiyama hit a leadoff single, then Tsutomu Itoh drove in a run with a clutch double. After retiring Tatsuya Ide, he gave up another hit to Ichiro Suzuki and finally forced Kazuo Matsui to ground into a double play.[3] He was 15-5 with a 2.96 ERA in this season, and led the Central League in shutouts. Tabata also ranked 2nd in wins (3 behind Masahiro Yamamoto), 3rd in ERA (.11 behind Yamamoto) and 3rd in complete games (3 behind Balvino Galvez). He won the Most Valuable Battery Award with Atsuya Furuta. In the 1997 Nippon Series, he started in Game 2 but the Seibu Lions destroyed him. Matsui singled, Tabata retired Susumu Otomo and Taisei Takagi but Ken Suzuki's double drove in a run. Tabata then gave up two RBI singles to Domingo Martinez and Makoto Sasaki, and Yusuke Kawada's two-run homer knocked out Tabata. He didn't appear in the rest of the series, but the Swallows beat the Lions in 5 games.[4]

Tabata suffered a right shoulder injury in 1998, so he only pitched 12 games with a 5.63 ERA. He struggled again in 1999, and the Swallows traded him to the Kintetsu Buffaloes for Takenori Daita and Yukio Kinugawa. He only pitched 10 games with a 6.79 ERA for Kintetsu in 2000, then the Buffaloes traded him again with Masaki Maki to the Yomiuri Giants for Koichi Misawa and Nobunori Tamamine. Tabata had a 3.66 ERA in 29 relief outings in 2001, but he still announced his retirement after the 2001 season. He was the pitching coach for the Giants from 2014 to 2015 and in 2017, and also coached their minor league team from 2011 to 2013 and in 2016. He became the pitching coach for the Swallows from 2018 to 2019, and coached the Samsung Lions of the KBO in 2023.

Overall, Tabata was 37-36 with a 4.14 ERA, struck out 376 and pitched 632 1/3 innings in 9 years in NPB.