Shinichiro Koyama

From BR Bullpen

Shinichiro Koyama (小山 伸一郎)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 10", Weight 173 lb.

Biographical Information[edit]

Shinichiro Koyama has pitched 470 games in Nippon Pro Baseball (through 2013).

Koyama was a first-round pick of the Chunichi Dragons in 1996. He made his debut with the big club in 1999, giving up 3 runs in 6 1/3 IP. He was 2-4 with a 5.58 ERA in 29 contests for the Dragons in 2000, walking 32 in 50 innings. He was 0-1 with a 4.76 ERA for them in 2001 while pacing the minor Western League with 10 wins. He was middle reliever of the year in the WL in 2002 and 2003; in NPB those years, he was 1-3 with a 4.81 ERA in 2002 and 1-0 with a 9.35 ERA in 2003. On April 26, 2003, he gave up 10 runs to the Yakult Swallows in one relief appearance. After another poor season in the big league in 2004 (6 H, 3 BB, 4 R in 4 IP), Chunichi sent him to the Rakuten Golden Eagles with no compensation in return.

Koyama got a regular chance with the expansion club in 2005, going 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA in 30 games. He fanned 46 but walked 25 in 42 innings. He did get the first relief win in Rakuten history. He slumped to 0-2, 8.56 with 19 walks in 27 1/3 IP in 2006. In 2007, though, the veteran was 3-1 with 16 saves, a 0.58 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. He was 7th in the Pacific League in saves. In 54 games in 2008, he went 3-5 with 4 saves, a 3.72 ERA and 71 strikeouts in 67 2/3 IP. In 2009, he tied Yoshihiro Ito for 7th in the PL with 56 pitching appearances; he went 1-4 with 5 saves, a 2.97 ERA, .226 opponent average and 74 strikeouts in 63 2/3 IP.

Shinichiro was sharp again in 2010 (5-4, 11 Sv, 2.41 in 55 G). He was 7th in the PL in saves, between Mamoru Kishida and Jon Leicester. That year, he adopted Mariano Rivera's entrance song, Enter Sandman. He went 8-4 with a save and a 2.88 ERA in 2011, third on the team in wins behind ace Masahiro Tanaka and Takahiro Shiomi. He was 10th in the PL with 57 games pitched in 2012, when he had a 1-2, 1.99 record, outpitching closers Koji Aoyama and Darrell Rasner. In 2013, he fell to 1-4, 3.94 but Rakuten went to the Japan Series for the first time. In the 2013 Japan Series, he pitched in games 1 and 4 as Rakuten topped the Yomiuri Giants in seven games. In game 4, he replaces Sho Miyagawa with the bases loaded, no outs and a 4-2 lead; he allowed a sacrifice fly to Shinnosuke Abe that inning. In the 5th, he walked Tetsuya Matsumoto then Yoshiyuki Kamei hit into an error and Hisayoshi Chono doubled to put Yomiuri up, 5-4. Rakuten tied it but Kohei Hasebe lost it.

Koyama throws a fastball (peak 94 mph), sinker, curveball, slider and forkball. He has been noted for changes the color of his goggles different seasons.