Thursday, January 11, 2018

Tomoya Yagi

Tomoya Yagi had a really good rookie year.  Yagi was drafted by the Fighters in the "preferred entry frame" (which I still don't quite understand) of the 2005 draft out of Soka University.  He went 12-8 with a 2.48 ERA his rookie season in 2006 and also made the All Star team.  He also threw a no-hitter in his fourth start ever (well, it was a no-hitter than went 12 innings and he only pitched the first 10 - Hisashi Takeda and Michael Nakamura pitched the other two).  And his team won the Nippon Series that year.  And he was named Rookie Of The Year.  All in all it was a great season for him.

Unfortunately this was the highlight of his career.  A shoulder injury limited his playing time over the next two seasons although he rebounded with a 9-3, 2.88 ERA season in 2009.  He again missed a lot of time over the next two seasons but came back somewhat in 2012 with a 6-3, 3.38 ERA record.  That was the end of his time with the Fighters though - he was dealt to the Orix Buffaloes in early 2013 as part of the Yoshio Itoi deal.

Orix pretty much buried him on the farm team - he only got into six games with the ichi-gun team in 2013 and 2014 and he didn't perform particularly well.  The Buffaloes released him after 2014 and he was picked up by the Dragons after he attended the 12-team tryout.  He got into 14 ichi-gun games in 2015, the most he had appeared in since 2009, and went 4-6 with an ERA of 3.92.  He was banished back to the farm team for the last two seasons, however, only getting into four games with the top team (one in 2016 and three in 2017).  He was released at the end of the season and announced his retirement in November.  I think he will become a scout for the Dragons but I'm not sure.

He pitched in two Nippon Series - 2006 and 2009 - and won a game in each of them.  2006 was the only season he was named to the All Star team.

Yagi's first BBM cards are #35 in the 2006 Rookie Edition set and #172 in the 2006 1st Version set.  Most of his cards were BBM cards but he had a couple Calbee cards in 2006 and 2007 as well as some cards in various Konami, Bandai and Front Runner issues.  (As always I'm using's list to supplement what I own.)

2006 BBM Rookie Edition #35

2006 BBM 1st Version #172

2006 BBM All Stars #A22

2007 BBM 1st Version #479

2007 BBM 1st Version #447

2009 BBM Nippon Series #S38

2012 BBM 2nd Version #410

2014 Front Runner Buffaloes Rookies & Young Stars #15

2017 BBM Dragons #D28

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