Satoshi Sonobe’s father passed away when he was two-years-old. His mother raised him by herself. The Tohoku Earthquake hit just before he started attending Seiko Gakuin High School in Fukushima. He considered quitting baseball at one point, but his kept him on the path by saying nothing would make her happier than to see him make it to the NPB.
Sonobe was selected by Orix in the fourth round of the 2013 draft. He had problems with his right elbow and went under the knife in August 2014. He remained in the Orix organization as an Ikusei player in 2015 and made his way back to the seventy-man roster in 2016.
Sonobe hit fifty-nine home runs during his high school career. He was assigned the number 44 with the hopes that he might become like Boomer Wells (he wore the number between 1983 and 1991). His number changed to 124 in 2015 and to 00 in 2016.
Source: Sponichi 7/4/2016
Sonobe was using a bat he received from Sho Nakata when he blasted the first home run of his career on September 18, 2016 (ninth inning off Softbank’s Yuito Mori).
Source: Nikkan Sports 9/18/2016