Akio Shimizu (清水 章夫)
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 1", Weight 176 lb.
Akio Shimizu has pitched in Nippon Pro Baseball for a number of years.
Shimizu starred for Japan in the 1997 Intercontinental Cup, going 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA. Japan won the Gold Medal, the first team to beat Cuba in a Gold Medal game in 15 years. Akio joined fellow moundsman Koji Uehara as the All-Tournament pitchers. He tied Pedro Luis Lazo, Uehara, Jose Contreras and Abel Madera for the most wins in the Cup.
Drafted by the Nippon Ham Fighters, Shimizu made his pro debut in 1998, allowing 16 hits and 9 runs in 9 2/3 IP. In 2000, the southpaw had a 6-9, 4.06 record and was .06 behind Satoru Kanemura for the team lead in ERA. In 2001, Akio fell to 2-7, 4.90. He was 2-4 with a save and a 4.28 ERA in reduced action in 2002.
In 2003, Shimizu pitched 42 1/3 IP in 50 games in being used as a LOOGY. He was 0-1 with a 3.83 ERA. He threw 34 innings in 42 games in 2004; he won his lone decision but his ERA ballooned to 6.88 and he did not pitch for the Fighters the next season.
Returning to Nippon Ham in 2006, Akio was 1-3 with a 3.26 ERA in 29 outings. That June, he was traded with Kuniyuki Kimoto to the Orix Buffaloes for Jun Hagiwara and Tatsuo Kato. He did not don a Buffalo uniform until 2008, when the veteran had a 4-2, 4.88 record in 24 innings and 34 games.