Monday, February 15, 2016

Teppei Tsuchiya

Former Dragon, Eagle and Buffalo Teppei Tsuchiya announced his retirement a few weeks back.  He was originally drafted by the Dragons in the fifth round of the fall 2000 draft out of Oita Prefectural Tsukumi High School but he did not make his ichi-gun debut until 2004.  He had a kind of odd experience that year in that he was the MVP of the Farm Championship game (held between the champions of the Eastern and Western league) and then appeared as a pinch runner in the Nippon Series - I don't know how common it is for a player to appear in both the Farm Championship and the Nippon Series in the same year.  He played well at ni-gun in 2005 (hitting .336) but he didn't get much of chance with the ichi-gun team and the Dragons sold him to Rakuten following the season.  He almost immediately moved into the starting lineup for the Eagles and hit .303 his first year there.  He remained a regular for the Eagles for the next four years, hitting over .300 twice more.  His playing time started to diminish after that and the Eagles released hime following the 2013 season.  He signed on with Orix but his playing time with the top team didn't really increase - 50 games in 2014 and only 13 in 2015 - and his performance continued to suffer.  I think he had some nagging injuries as well.  He was released by Orix at the end of last season and participated in the 12 team tryout in November but he didn't receive any interest and so he announced his retirement.

Teppei (as he has been registered in NPB since 2006) made the All Star team twice (2007 & 2010) and was named to a Best 9 team once - in 2009, the year he lead the Pacific League in hitting with a .327 average.  His only Nippon Series appearances came as a pinch runner in the 2004 Series - he was on the 2013 Eagles team but he did not play in the Series.

2001 BBM #306

2004 BBM Nippon Series #55

2006 BBM 2nd Version #611

2007 Calbee #053

2010 BBM 1st Version #438

2010 BBM All Stars #A61

2010 Calbee #064

2012 BBM Eagles #E64

2015 BBM Buffaloes #Bs56

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