Keiji Obiki

From BR Bullpen

Keiji Obiki (大引 啓次)

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

BR register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Keiji Obiki has been a three-time All-Star in Japan through 2019.

Obiki twice led the Tokyo Big Six University League in average and once in steals and RBI, setting the school record for hits (121) at Hosei, a university noted for baseball. [1] The Orix Buffaloes took him in the 3rd round of the 2006 NPB draft. He was the first rookie to go from being an amateur to an Opening Day starter for Orix since So Taguchi 15 years prior. [2] He got his first hit in NPB off Kazumi Saitoh, singling in his first pro plate appearance. His first homer was off Satoshi Nagai. [3] For the 2007 season, he hit .274/.329/.345 and fielded .972 as the main shortstop. His 428 assists led Pacific League shortstops. [4]

The Osaka native fielded .982 in 2008 and produced at a .258/.291/.371 clip; he missed time after being hit by a pitch from Tomoyuki Kubota in an interleague game. [5] In 2009, he fielded .983 and batted .278/.353/.393 before his season ended when a pitch from Keisuke Katto broke his wrist. He had 34 sacrifice hits, 3rd in the PL behind Munenori Kawasaki and Hichori Morimoto. Back problems limited him to 85 games in 2010; he hit .236/.314/.333 and fielded .982. Healthy again in 2011, he posted a .244/.331/.299 batting line, drawing 52 walks. He fielded .980 and had 42 sacrifice bunts. He tied Kensuke Uchimura for 3rd in the PL in sacrifices and was 7th in walks, between Yuichi Honda and Yuya Hasegawa.

In 2012, he led PL shortstops by fielding .987; he also batted .224/.317/.315 with 28 sacrifice hits. He was 4th in the PL in sacrifice hits, between Ginjiro Sumitani and Yoshifumi Okada. That off-season, he was traded with Shogo Akada and Hiroshi Kisanuki to the Nippon Ham Fighters for Yoshio Itoi and Tomoya Yagi. [6] He hit .266/.359/.333 with 50 walks for the Fighters in 2013, with 50 walks, 32 sacrifice hits and 13 steals in 16 tries. He fielded .978. He finished 5th in the circuit in sacrifice hits, between Kazuya Fujita and Takuya Nakashima. He made the PL team for the 2013 NPB All-Star Games.

Obiki put up a .245/.325/.331 batting line in 2014, drew 51 walks and stole 21 bases in 27 attempts while fielding .984 at SS. He laid down 26 sacrifice bunts to become the 36th player in NPB history to reach 200 sacrifice hits. [7] He made his second straight All-Star team and was among the league leaders in steals (tied for 8th with Yuji Kaneko) and sacrifice hits (8th, between Toru Hosokawa and Daichi Suzuki). In 2015, he moved to the Yakult Swallows and slumped to .225/.287/.338 with a .969 fielding percentage. He was 1 for 4 with a walk in the 2015 Japan Series. [8]

He fielded a league-leading .990 in 2016 and hit .250/.326/.345. In 2016 NPB All-Star Game 1, he entered in a double switch late, replacing Hayato Sakamoto at short and Takahiro Arai in the lineup. He struck out against Dennis Sarfate late in a 5-4 win for the Central League. [9] In Game 2, a 5-5 tie, he replaced Sakamoto. Batting once, he singled off Kazuhisa Makita to score Fumihito Haraguchi for a 5-4 lead. [10]

In 2017, he batted .227/.299/.322 and fielded .978. He was moved to a backup role at 3B behind Shingo Kawabata in 2018; he hit a surprising .350/.398/.512 in 47 games. In 2019, he fell to .202/.278/.286 while again backing up at third base. Yakult wanted him to retire but he refused, so they released him. [11]


  1. Defunct site by Gary Garland
  2. ibid.
  3. ibid.
  4. Japanese Wikipedia
  6. Japan Times
  7. Japanese Wikipedia
  8. 2015 Japan Series
  9. 2016 NPB All-Star Game 1
  10. 2016 NPB All-Star Game 2
  11. Taiwan Baseball Wiki