Tomoya Mori

From BR Bullpen


Tomoya Mori (森 友哉)

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 7", Weight 176 lb.

BR register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Tomoya Mori has been an All-Star in Nippon Pro Baseball.

Mori hit .323/.447/.548 with 8 runs in 9 games in the 2012 World Junior Championship, finishing .001 behind Shohei Otani in average but posting a better OPS. [1] He had four 3-RBI games for Japan in the 2013 World Junior Championship, against Mexico, Venezuela, the Czech Republic and Canada. He hit .448/.455/.759 on the event with 15 RBI in 8 games. He had 80 chances error-free and caught 3 of 5 runners who tried to steal against him. He finished among the event leaders in average (4th, between Jeffrey Schwarz and Zac Shepherd), slugging (4th, between Gareth Morgan and Jakson Reetz), RBI (1st, one ahead of Tyler O'Neill), hits (13, tied for 2nd, two behind Adam Haseley), doubles (4, tied for 1st), total bases (22, 3rd behind Haseley and O'Neill) and first in fielding percentage. He was named the event's All-Star catcher. Japan won the Silver Medal. [2] The Seibu Lions took him in the first of the 2013 NPB draft. [3]

The Osaka native made his NPB debut on July 30, 2014, replacing Ginjiro Sumitani at catcher and getting a hit in his lone at-bat, off Ryo Sakakibara. [4] His first homer came August 14, again off Orix's Sakakibara. [5] He hit very well in limited action as a rookie, batting .275/.370/.575 with 6 homers and 15 RBI in 92 plate appearances over 41 games. Despite getting under 100 at-bats, he got two votes for the 2014 Pacific League Rookie of the Year Award, putting him 5th. [6]

The 2015 Lions opted to use him at DH to keep his bat in the lineup, while Sumitani did the bulk of the catching; Mori also was used on occasion in the outfield, in interleague games that did not have a DH. He not only made the Pacific League team for the 2015 NPB All-Star Games but manager Kimiyasu Kudoh batted him third and starting at DH in Game 1. He flew out against Tomoyuki Sugano, drew a walk from Sugano and flew out against Shintaro Fujinami before Yoshio Itoi pinch-hit for him in a 8-6 loss. [7] Game 2 went better, though his team lost 8-3. He pinch-hit for Itoi in the 6th with a 7-1 deficit and a man aboard and went deep off Yudai Ono for most of his team's offense that day. In the 9th, he flew out against Seung-hwan Oh. [8] He was the youngest player to hit a pinch-hit homer in a NPB All-Star Game; 22-year-old Akinobu Okada had been the previous youngest. Mori was also the first teenager to homer in a NPB All-Star Game since Kazuhiro Kiyohara in 1987. [9] He finished the 2015 season at .287/.357/.446 with 33 doubles, 17 homers and 68 RBI, though he did whiff 143 times. He was 8th in the PL in average (between Nobuhiro Matsuda and Kensuke Tanaka), 9th in slugging (between Ernesto Mejia and Kensuke Kondo), tied Kondo for 4th in doubles, tied Itoi and Wily Mo Pena for 9th in home runs, was 3rd in Ks (behind Takeya Nakamura and Pena) and was 10th with 222 total bases (between Mejia and Seiichi Uchikawa). [10]

He bounced between OF, C and DH in 2016 and his offensive numbers were still solid - .292/.367/.436 - though his playing time dropped so he did not make the PL leaders in any department. Had he qualified, he would have been 9th in average. [11] In exhibitions before the 2017 World Baseball Classic, he was hit by a pitch from a Cuban hurler and suffered an injury that sidelined him most of the 2017 season. [12] He did not miss a beat upon returning, batting .339/.434/.500 in 38 games. He was sent to the 2017-2018 Australian Baseball League to work on his catching. [13] Backing up Allan de San Miguel with the Melbourne Aces, he threw out 6 of 11 would-be basestealers but his offense was down (.214/.400/.381, a good note being 13 BB in 15 G).

Mori made his second PL All-Star team for the 2018 NPB All-Star Games. He started Game 1 behind the dish and hit 7th. He came up big in the first, with a 3-run bomb off Daisuke Matsuzaka to score Sho Nakata and Masataka Yoshida for a strong 5-0 lead. He doubled off Randy Messenger in the 3rd then struck out in the 5th against Onelki Garcia. He then left in favor of Takuya Kai. He was named the MVP of the Game, which the PL won 7-6. In Game 2, he pinch-hit for Kai in the 7th inning of a 5-1 win. He grounded back to pitcher Taishi Ishiyama. Staying in at catcher, he came up with one on and two out in the 8th against Yasuaki Yamasaki. He hit into an error by Hayato Sakamoto and would score on a double by Hideto Asamura. [14] He finished the 2018 campaign at .275/.366/.457 with 34 doubles, 16 home runs and 80 RBI. He was 3rd in the PL in doubles (after Shogo Akiyama and Yoshida) and 9th in RBI. He made the Best Nine as the top backstop in the PL. [15] He was with Japan for the 2018 Nichi-Bei Series against the MLB All-Stars. [16]

His All-Star success continued into 2019. He was Game 1 MVP once again, blasting a two-run homer off Daichi Osera in a 6-3 win as part of a 3-RBI day. [17] He ended game 2 that year, pinch-hitting for Sosuke Genda and being retired by Kyuji Fujikawa. [18] He hit .329/.413/.547 with 34 doubles, 23 homers, 72 walks, 96 runs and 105 RBI for 2019. He led the PL in batting (.007 ahead of Yoshida), tied Shuta Tonosaki for 2nd in runs, tied Daichi Suzuki for 2nd in doubles (one behind Takashi Ogino), was 3rd in RBI (after Nakamura and Hotaka Yamakawa), was 7th in walks (between Akiyama and Seiya Inoue), was 3rd in OBP (after Kondo and Yoshida), led in slugging (.004 ahead of Yoshida), led in OPS (3 ahead of Yoshida) and was 4th in total bases (between Akiyama and Asamura). He won the 2019 Pacific League Most Valuable Player Award, with 222 of 254 first-place votes and 1,189 vote points (runner-up Nakamura had 21 and 485).