Akira Tanaka

From BR Bullpen

Akira Tanaka

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 7", Weight 140 lb.

Biographical Information[edit]

Akira Tanaka pitched in Nippon Pro Baseball for nine seasons.

Tanaka was picked by the Yomiuri Giants in the second round of the 1968 draft. He was 3-3 with a 2.95 ERA, .213 opponent average and .98 WHIP in 1969. He was not used in the 1969 Japan Series, which Yomiuri won. He went 1-0 with a 2.68 ERA in 20 relief outings in 1970 and again did not appear in a victorious Yomiuri effort in the 1970 Japan Series.

Tanaka moved to the Nishitetsu Lions in the off-season. He was 4-9 with a 4.17 ERA in 1971. He improved to 3-5 with a 2.39 ERA in 57 games in 1972, tying Toshio Kanbe for second in the Pacific League in ERA, .03 behind Toshihiko Sei. He made the PL All-Star team for the only time in 1973, which he finished 11-10 with a 2.57 ERA. He finished second in the league in ERA, .11 behind Tetsuya Yoneda. The right-hander went 12-5 with 9 saves (a new stat in Japan) and a 2.61 ERA in 1974, his last good year, walking only 26 in 131 innings. He ranked third in ERA behind Michio Sato and Kanbe.

Tanaka fell to 2-4, 4.00 in 1975. He then spent his final two seasons with the Taiyo Whales. In 1976, he surrendered 16 runs (14 earned) in 16 2/3 innings. He allowed four hits and one run in two innings in 1977.

Overall, Akira went 36-36 with a 3.10 ERA, .252 opponent average and 1.18 WHIP in 300 games (27 starts) in NPB. He struck out 330 and walked 179 in 737 1/3 innings. He hit .196/.218/.275.

Source: japanbaseballdaily.com