- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 10", Weight 170 lb.
- High School Yokohama High School
Yoshihiro Nakada pitched for Nissan Motors in the industrial leagues out of high school, then was picked in the first round of the 1980 NPB draft by the Hanshin Tigers. He was 6-5 with 8 saves and a 3.30 ERA as a rookie in '81, then won his only decision with the club the next year. In 1983, Nakada had a 1.82 WHIP and 7.66 ERA, but he bounced back at 4-0, 4.72 in '84. When Hanshin won the Central League pennant in 1985, Yoshihiro had a 12-5, 4.23 record. From his rookie season through that year, he had won 18 consecutive decisions. Starting game three of the 1985 Japan Series, he allowed 4 runs in 1 1/3 innings, taking the loss.
In '86, the 27-year-old right-hander went 0-1 with a 4.98 ERA then was 0-2, 10.80 a year later. By 1988, he had a 3.30 WHIP and 17.42 ERA, going 0-1 in a continued downslide. He was 0-1 with a 2.70 ERA in '89 then bounced back to make the CL All-Star team the next season when his record was 10-7 with six saves and a 3.51 ERA. It was his last season of regular action. Afterwards, his lines read 0-1, 8.05; 0-0, 4.50; 0-0, 3.71 and 0-0, 3.00 to finish with a composite record of 33-23 with 14 saves and a 4.73 ERA in 226 outings. After retiring, he became a baseball commentator for Sun TV.