Saturday, January 26, 2019

Taketoshi Gotoh

Yet another player who retired at the end of the 2018 season was Baystars pinch hitter Taketoshi Gotoh.  Gotoh had been a collegiate star at Hosei University.  He won the Tokyo Big Six University League Triple Crown during the 2000 spring season (I think) and the batting crown during the fall season that year.  He played for the collegiate National team in both the 2001 Baseball World Cup and the 2002 World University Championship.  He was the Lions top draft pick in the 2002 NPB draft.  He wasn't their first round pick but he was taken in something called the "Freedom Acquisition Frame" which I think was some way that a team and a player could come to a pre-draft agreement.  The Lions signed two players this way in the 2002 draft (the other was Suichiro Osada) but Gotoh was the first of the two. 

There were high expectations for Gotoh during his rookie year of 2003 and he played in 101 games, hitting .262 with 11 home runs.  His defense apparently was atrocious however and he got banished to the farm team for most of the remainder of his career.  2003 was the only season in which he played in over 100 games at the ichi-gun level.  He was mostly used as a pinch hitter - the second most games he got into in a single season was 70 in 2015 - he only had 76 at bats and only played in the field in four games. 

He was traded from the Lions to the Baystars in November of 2011 for Shingo Takeyama.  He started using the registered name of "G Taketoshi Gotoh" in 2015 - I'm not really understanding the Google translation of his Japanese Wikipedia page but I think he somehow picked up the nickname "Gomez" and the extra "G" has something to do with that.  He'll be one of the Eagles ni-gun hitting coaches in 2019.

He appeared in one Nippon Series - 2008 with the Lions.

Gotoh is one of the few Japanese players to have a "pre-rookie" card as he appeared in BBM's 2002 set for the 2001 Baseball World Cup team.  His first cards with an NPB team came in 2003 - he's card #51 in BBM's Rookie Edition set, #214 in BBM's 1st Version set and #127 in Calbee's Series Two set.

2002 BBM Japan National Team #22

2003 BBM 1st Version #51

2003 BBM 1st Version #214

2006 Lions Original Player Card #6

2008 BBM Nippon Series #S19

2014 Front Runner Baystars Rookies & Young Stars #04

2018 BBM Baystars #DB53

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