Kotaro Kiyomiya: Did You Know

Milestones

2018

April 10 vs Ni-gun Seibu – Kiyomiya played in his first Eastern League game. He got the start at designated hitter and batted fifth against Seibu. He struck out swinging on five pitches against Tadasuke Minamikawa. He left the game after the at bat (coming off injury).

Source: Sponichi 4/10/2018, Sports Hochi 4/10/2018

May 2 vs Rakuten at Sapporo Dome – Kiyomiya made his Ichi-gun debut. He got the start at designated hitter and batted sixth. He recorded a double in his first trip to the plate in the second inning, then struck out in his next two at bats. Kiyomiya became the sixth rookie out of high school to get a start at designated hitter in his first year. He is just the second rookie out of high school to get a start at designated hitter in his first career game.

Since the start of the draft, Kiyomiya is the twenty-fifth rookie out of high school to record a hit in his first career at bat.

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/3/2018

May 4 vs Lotte at Sapporo Dome – Kiyomiya recorded a hit in his third straight game and became the third rookie out of high school since the start of the draft to start their careers with a three-game hitting streak. The other two: Shogo Akada (four games in 1999) and Daiki Asama (four games in 2015).

Source: Daily Sports 5/4/2018, Sponichi 5/5/2018, Nikkan Sports 5/5/2018

May 5 vs Lotte at Sapporo Dome – Kiyomiya extended his hitting streak to four games.

Source: Daily Sports 5/5/2018, Sanspo 5/5/2018, Sponichi 5/5/2018, Sponichi 5/5/2018

May 6 vs Lotte at Sapporo Dome – Kiyomiya pushed his hitting streak to five games and set a new NPB record for hitting streaks to start a career by a rookie out of high school since the start of the draft.

Source: Daily Sports 5/6/2018, Sponichi 5/6/2018

May 8 vs Orix at Kyocera Dome РKiyomiya extended his hitting streak to six games and set a new NPB debut hitting-streak record for rookies out of high school since the start of the draft. He also joined Tatsunori Hara (1981), Tomoaki Sato (2001), and Masataka Yoshida (2016) as the only rookies in NPB history to start their careers with a six-game hitting streak since the start of the draft.

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/8/2018, Daily Sports 5/8/2018

May 9 vs Orix at Kyocera Dome – Kiyomiya set a new NPB record by extending his hitting streak to seven games. The hit also turned out to be the first home run of his career.

Source: YakyuDB

May 11 vs Softbank at YafuOku Dome – Kiyomiya recorded the first outfield assist of his Ichi-gun career. With runners on first and third and one out, Kiyomiya caught a fly ball hit by Yuki Yanagita to left and threw out Kenta Imamiya trying to score from third.

Source: Sponichi 5/12/2018

August 25 vs Rakuten at Sapporo Dome – Kiyomiya notched the first modasho of his career. He also recorded a triple and his first Sapporo Dome home run. He is the first player out of high school in the NPB to record a modasho in their first year since Louis Okoye in 2016 and the first player out of high school in Fighter history to record a modasho in their first year since Isao Harimoto in 1959. He is also the first player out of high school in the NPB to record a modasho and a home run in the same game in their first year since Hideki Matsui in 1993.

Kiyomiya joined Hachiro Yamamoto (four in 1956) and Harimoto (thirteen in 1959) as the only players out of high school in Fighter history to hit at least four home runs in their first year. He became the first player out of high school in Fighters history to hit a home run and triple in the same game during his first year.

Source: Nikkan Sports 8/26/2018, Nikkan Sports 8/26/2018, Sponichi 8/26/2018

August 26 vs Rakuten at Sapporo Dome – Kiyomiya recorded another modasho, his second in as many days, and joined Kazuyoshi Tatsunami (1988, June 2 against Yomiuri and June 4 against Hanshin) as the only players drafted out of high school in NPB history to notch modashos in two back-to-back games during their first seasons. He is the fifth player drafted out of high school to record multiple modashos during their first year, behind Kazuhiro Kiyohara (nine in 1986), Tatsunami (three in 1988), Hideki Matsui (two in 1993), and Shogo Akada (two in 1999).

Source: Sponichi 8/26/2018, Sponichi 8/27/2018, Daily Sports 8/26/2018, Sanspo 8/27/2018, Nikkan Sports 8/27/2018

August 28 vs Orix at Miyazaki – Kiyomiya struck out four times (in consecutive plate appearances) in a game for the first time in his career (second, fourth, sixth, and ninth innings).

Source: Sponichi 8/28/2018, Nikkan Sports 8/28/2018, Sanspo 8/28/2018, Daily Sports 8/28/2018

September 17 vs Orix at Sapporo Dome – Kiyomiya was issued a no-pitch intentional walk in the sixth inning and became the first rookie out of high school to record an intentional walk since Shuto Takajo on October 7, 2012; and the first Pacific League rookie out of high school since Kazuhiro Kiyohara on October 7 and 9, 1986.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/18/2018

September 20 vs Softbank at Sapporo Dome – Kiyomiya recorded his fifth home run of the year. He is the fourteenth rookie out of high school to hit at least five home runs in a season, first since Tomoya Mori hit six in 2014. He joined Isao Harimoto (thirteen in 1959) as the only players in Fighters history to accomplish the feat.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/21/2018


Miscellaneous

2018

Kiyomiya’s batter walk-up music for his first year was Star Wars. His favorite character from Star Wars: R2-D2.

Source: Sports Hochi 5/5/2018, Nikkan Sports 5/5/2018


Equipment

Kiyomiya has decided to go with a black Adidas bat in 2018: a Yasiel Puig model bat (33.5 inches and between 880 and 890 grams).

Source: Sanspo 4/26/2018, Sponichi 4/26/2018, Nikkan Sports 4/26/2018, Daily Sports 4/26/2018

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NPB Standings [Full]
G W L T
Hiroshima 143 88 51 4
Hanshin 143 78 61 4
Yokohama 143 73 65 5
Yomiuri 143 72 68 3
Chunichi 143 59 79 5
Yakult 143 45 96 2
G W L T
Softbank 143 94 49 0
Seibu 143 79 61 3
Rakuten 143 77 63 3
Orix 143 63 79 1
Nippon Ham 143 60 83 0
Lotte 143 54 87 2
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