Saturday, December 23, 2017

Yoshihisa Hirano of the Arizona Diamondbacks

Former Orix Buffaloes pitcher Yoshihisa Hirano has reportedly signed a two year deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks.  Hirano will be the second Japanese pitcher to play for Arizona, following Takeshi Saitoh who appeared in 16 games for them back in 2011.  Hirano was drafted by Orix out of Kyoto Sangyo University in the "preferred entry frame" of the fall 2005 draft and has spent his entire 12 year NPB career with them.  He was a starter for his first four seasons with Orix pitching decently but with little luck as he ran up a record of 18-36 (he actually missed the entire 2008 season with an elbow injury).  He moved into a middle relief role in 2010 and lead the Pacific League in "hold points" in 2011.  He took over the closer role from Mamoru Kishida in 2013 and secured 143 saves over the next five seasons (despite losing his closer job to Tatsuya Sato in 2015 and having to beat out former major leaguer Erik Cordier for the job the next year).  He lead the league in 2014 with a then PL record 40 saves.  Hirano was named to the Pacific League All Star team five times (2006, 2010-13) and played for the Japan National Team in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

His first BBM cards were #27 from the 2006 Rookie Edition set, #140 in the 2006 1st Version set and #Bs09 in the 2006 Buffaloes team set.  He's appeared in every BBM flagship set since 2006 except for the 2nd Version sets from 2008, 2009 and 2010.  He also appears in the BBM All Star sets from 2006, 2010, 2011 and 2012.  His first Calbee card was #126 in the 2006 set.  As always this isn't a comprehensive list - check out TradingCardDB for a more complete list.

Here's a sampling of his cards:

2006 BBM Rookie Edition #27

2006 BBM 1st Version #140

2006 BBM Buffaloes #Bs09

2007 Calbee #257

2010 BBM All Stars #A47

2011 Bs Club #2

2012 BBM 1st Version #350

2012 BBM Pedigree #04

2013 Front Runner Buffaloes Rookies & Young Stars #09

2017 BBM Buffaloes #Bs06


SumoMenkoMan said...

It looks like he has quite a few cards. Will be interesting to see how he does.

Daniel Wilson said...

As a D-Backs fan I am really excited to see how he does. It will be interesting to see where he ends up. A lot of people here think Archie Bradley will be the closer. I guess only time will tell.