Yoshinobu Yamamoto (山本 由伸)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 10", Weight 169 lb.
- High School Miyakonojo High School
He moved to the bullpen in 2018 and was impressive enough to make the Pacific League team for the 2018 NPB All-Star Games. In Game 1, he relieved Yusei Kikuchi in the 3rd with a 5-3 lead. Tetsuto Yamada greeted him with a single; after he retired Norichika Aoki and Hayato Sakamoto, Yoshitomo Tsutsugo took him deep to tie it. Seiya Suzuki singled but he escaped further harm by retiring Wladimir Balentien. Mike Bolsinger took over in the 4th.  He became the first 20-year-old Buffalo hurler to pitch 50 games since Masafumi Hirai in 1995 and was the youngest player to register 30 holds in NPB history (he finished with 32).  For the season, he was 4-2 with a save and a 2.89 ERA. He got 70 votes for the 2018 Pacific League Rookie of the Year Award to finish 2nd, 42 points behind outfielder Kazuki Tanaka. 
Yamamoto pitched for Japan in their friendly exhibition against the Mexican national team in early 2019.  He returned to the rotation in 2019 after Chihiro Kaneko and Yuki Nishi left Orix and he was dominant at 8-6, 1.95 with a .96 WHIP. He had a three-inning save in 2019 NPB All-Star Game 1, the first time someone had done that since Hiroshi Takamura in 1996, relieving Yuki Matsui with a 4-1 lead and allowing two runs in three (on a Fumihito Haraguchi two-run shot in the 9th after the lead was 6-1).  He won the PL ERA title, .51 ahead of runner-up Kohei Arihara.  He was tied for 8th in wins and 5th in strikeouts (127, between Atsuki Taneichi and Kota Futaki). He was 11th in voting for the 2019 Pacific League Most Valuable Player Award.  He did not get the Best Nine nod in the PL, which went to Kodai Senga.
The right-hander then made Japan's squad for the 2019 Premier 12. Now hitting 98 on the radar gun at his peak, he wound up back in the bullpen for Japan. His first outing came against Puerto Rico, relieving Kan Otake in the 8th with a 4-0 lead. He gave up a single to Edwin Gómez but Jack López hit into a double play and Yamamoto got Jay Gonzalez swinging. Yasuaki Yamasaki relieved in the 9th. He pitched five games in the tournament, posting a 1.80 ERA, tying Yamasaki for the team lead in games pitched. He also tied for the tournament lead in pitching appearances. He made his last appearance in the Gold Medal Game, replacing Hiroshi Kaino in the 8th with a 5-3 lead. He fanned Jung-hoo Lee, got Ha-seong Kim on a fly then whiffed Jae-hwan Kim before Yamasaki closed it out.