Takayuki Kajitani (梶谷 隆幸)
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 165 lb.
- High School Kaisei High School
Takayuki Kajitani has been an All-Star in Nippon Pro Baseball.
He hit .395 in high school, then was taken by the Yokohama BayStars in the third round of the 2006 NPB draft.  He hit only .136 in the minors in 2007.  In 2008, he batted .250/.311/.316 for the Shonan SeaRex, fielding .966 at short. He tied for 8th in the Eastern League with 14 steals and led with 17 sacrifice hits. In 2009, he improved to .279/.351/.427 for the SeaRex with 20 steals in 25 tries and 8 triples. He was among the EL leaders in runs (2nd, 4 behind Itaru Hashimoto), triples (tied with Toshihiro Nakao for first), steals (tied Kazuya Murata for 4th) and sacrifice hits (13, tied for 8th). In his first look with the big club, he struggled, going 5-for-39 with a double, walk and a homer, backing up Kazuya Fujita at 2B. His first NPB hit came off Kenichi Matsuoka and his first home run off Yasutomo Kubo. 
In 2010, he was 0 for 4 for Yokohama and hit .251/.344/.370 for Shonan, with 33 steals in 42 tries. He led the EL in steals (10 ahead of Masayoshi Miwa), was 4th in runs, was 3rd with 8 triples, was second with 49 walks (10 back of Fuminori Yokogawa) and led with 19 sacrifice hits. He spent all of 2011 on the farm (.261/.314/.379). In 2012, he became Yokohama's starting shortstop, as Takehiro Ishikawa moved to second. He struggled, though, hitting only .179/.253/.256 and getting caught in 8 of 13 steal attempts.
He blossomed in 2013, hitting .346/.413/.634 with 16 homers and 59 runs in 77 games. Had he qualified, he would have won the batting title (.013 ahead of Tony Blanco), been 4th in OBP (between Blanco and Takashi Toritani) and tied Blanco for 2nd in slugging (behind Wladimir Balentien), impressive numbers for a shortstop, especially one who had a 509 OPS the prior year! His 31 runs in August were a team record.  He moved to right field in 2014 and batted .263/.355/.438 with 26 doubles, 9 triples, 16 home runs, 76 runs, 39 steals (in 47 tries) and 70 walks. He was among the Central League leaders in triples (1st, 4 ahead of the runners-up), steals (1st, 11 ahead of Yohei Oshima) and walks (tied Hiroki Uemoto for 5th).
The Masuda native was the lead-off hitter and center fielder for the CL in 2015 NPB All-Star Game 1. He struck out against Shohei Otani but singled off Yuki Nishi. In the 5th, he hit a double off Hideaki Wakui to score Yuhei Nakamura, then scored the tying run on an error. He struck out against Wakui and flew out against Naoki Miyanishi but had turned in a solid game in a CL win.  In Game 2, he started in center and hit 6th and again did well. After fanning against Mitsuo Yoshikawa, he singled off Ken Togame to score Hector Luna. In the 5th, he singled off Togame again, plating Takahiro Arai before striking out against Tomomi Takahashi his last time up. Takahiro Suzuki replaced him in center, while Nakamura took over his spot in the lineup. 
For 2015, he batted .275/.342/.425 with 35 doubles, 70 runs, 66 RBI, 54 walks and 28 steals (caught 13 times). He fielded .992 and had 8 outfield assists, his three double plays leading CL flyhawks. He tied Oshima for 6th in runs, was 10th in average (between Matt Murton and Arai), was second in doubles (four behind Tetsuto Yamada), was 8th in RBI (between Hayato Sakamoto and Yoshihiro Maru), was second in swipes (6 shy of Yamada), led in caught stealing (two more than Uemoto), was 7th in slugging (between Ryosuke Hirata and Mauro Gomez) and was 10th in OPS (between Maru and Luna).
He remained steady in 2016: .273/.359/.480, 18 HR, 26 SB (7 CS), 69 R, though league offensive numbers were back up. He tied Oshima for third in swipes. In 2017, he had a 20-20 season though his contact was down as he hit .243/.327/.427 with 157 whiffs, 83 runs, 27 doubles, 21 home runs, 21 steals (caught just 3 times) and 62 walks. He led CL outfielders in fielding (.996) and was among the league leaderboards for runs (7th), homers (9th, between Maru and Masahiro Nakatani), steals (tied Yoshio Itoi for 4th), walks (tied Seiya Suzuki for 9th) and strikeouts (1st, 25 more than Yamada). Despite his fine fielding, he was only 7th in voting for the Gold Glove in the CL outfield.  In the 2017 Japan Series, his 6th-inning Game 2 homer off the Softbank Hawks' Nao Higashihama tied the game at one. He hit .250/.400/.500 for the Series as one of Yokohama's better hitters but they fell in seven games. 
2018 and 2019 were mostly lost due to injury. He hit .268/.321/.520 in 41 games in '18 and .215/.330/.430 in 41 games the next year. He was finally healthy again in 2020, producing at a .323/.387/.527 clip with 88 runs, 29 doubles and 19 homers in 109 games in a season shortened by the COVID-19 pandemic. He was second in the batting race (.005 behind Keita Sano), was 5th in OBP (between Sano and Oshima), was 7th in slugging (between Sano and Sakamoto), led in runs (3 ahead of Seiya Suzuki), was second with 140 hits (6 shy of Oshima), placed 4th in doubles, tied Sakamoto and Jerry Sands for 9th in home runs and was 5th in steals (between Oshima and Yasutaka Shiomi).
- Defunct Japan Baseball Daily site by Gary Garland
- Japanese Wikipedia
- Japan Baseball Daily
- Japanese Wikipedia
- Wayback Archive, YakyuBaka
- Wayback Archive, YakyuBaka, 2015 NPB All-Star Game 2
- NPB site
- 2017 Japan Series