Sunday, January 6, 2019

Yusei Kikuchi Of The Seattle Mariners

Former Saitama Seibu Lions pitcher Yusei Kikuchi signed a contract with the Seattle Mariners last week.  Kikuchi had originally been interested in signing directly with an MLB team out of high school in 2009 but like Ohtani a few years later decided to stay in Japan and join an NPB team first (although unlike Ohtani he decided this before the draft).  He was taken by six teams in the first round of the 2009 draft (Lions, Tigers, Swallows, Eagles, Dragons and Fighters) and the Lions won the lottery for him.  He spent all of 2010 with the Lions' farm team and debuted with the top team in June of 2012.  He's been a part of the Lions starting rotation pretty much ever since then and has been their top starter for at least the past three years.  His best year was 2017 when he went 16-6 with a 1.97 ERA with four shutouts, leading the Pacific League in wins, ERA and shutouts.  He's a three time All Star (2013, 2017-18) and two time Best 9 winner (2017-18).  He also won a Golden Glove Award in 2017.

Kikuchi's first BBM cards are #067 from the 2010 Rookie Edition set and #355 from the 2010 1st Version set.  He's appears in both the 1st and 2nd Version in 2010 but doesn't appear in either set in 2011.  He's only in 1st Version in 2012 but he appears in both sets from 2013 on to the present.  His first Calbee card is #078 from the 2010 set.  He doesn't have a Calbee card in 2011 but he has at least one every year since then.  He also has cards in various Bandai, Front Runner and Epoch sets during his career. has a fairly complete listing of his cards.

I'm going to take a slightly different tack with showing cards for Kikuchi than what I usually do for the new imports.  Instead of showing a bunch of cards from the entire span of his career I'm going to concentrate on his early cards instead.  This is mostly due to me still recovering from my hip surgery so I want to reduce the number of binders I'm taking off my shelves.

2010 BBM Rookie Edition #067

2010 BBM 1st Version #355

2010 BBM 2nd Version #688

2010 Calbee #078

2010 SCM #157

2012 BBM Lions #L74


SumoMenkoMan said...

Here is hoping that he does well!

P-town Tom said...

Good luck on hip surgery recovery and thanks for the informative post on Kikuchi. He's someone I'll be targeting in my fantasy drafts this year.

Fuji said...

Here's hoping he'll have a successful transition into the MLB. I'll be rooting for him... just like all of the other NPB guys who have crossed the Pacific.