Koichi Misawa (三澤 興一)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 10", Weight 184 lb.
Koichi Misawa was in the Olympics, then spent nearly a decade in Japan's top league.
Misawa helped his high school win the 1992 spring Koshien. As a sophomore in college, he had a 17-strikeout game versus Rikkyo University. Overall, he won 31 games in college; he was second all-time in strikeouts in the Tokyo Big Six University League (after Suguru Egawa) at the time of his retirement; Tsuyoshi Wada later passed him.
In the 1996 Olympics, Koichi had a 1-1, 5.16 record with 13 strikeouts in 10 2/3 IP for the Silver Medalists. He got the win over the Dutch national team but lost to Team USA when he gave up 4 runs in 2/3 of an inning.
Misawa was picked in the third round of the 1996 draft by the Yomiuri Giants. He was 3-4 with two saves and a 4.55 ERA as a rookie in 1997. He was 3-5 with three saves and a 3.84 ERA in 1998. In 1999, he had a 5-3, 3.97 record. He had a 1-1 record with one save and a 2.33 ERA in 41 games in 2000, posting the best ERA of any Yomiuri hurler with 10+ appearances, ahead of Darrell May, Koji Uehara, Kimiyasu Kudoh, Hiromi Makihara, Hideki Okajima, Masumi Kuwata and Hisanori Takahashi among others. He allowed two runs in 2 1/3 innings in the 2000 Japan Series but Yomiuri still won the Series.
In mid-2001, the Giants dealt Misawa to the Kintetsu Buffaloes. For the year, he went 7-1 with a 5.15 ERA. He pitched for Kintetsu against his old Yomiuri mates in the 2001 Japan Series, tossing 3 2/3 shutout innings in 3 games but his club fell in five games.
Misawa was 4-2 with a 4.22 ERA in 53 games in 2002. He was third on Kintetsu's club in appearances. He went 2-2 with a 3.38 ERA in 2003. He was traded back to Yomiuri during 2004 and posted a 3-0, 4.58 record for the year in 15 games.
Yomiuri released the former Olympian, who signed with the Yakult Swallows. He allowed six runs and eight hits in two innings in 2005 and spent the next year in ni-gun. Yakult released him and he was signed by the Chunichi Dragons. He spent all of 2007 in ni-gun.
Overall, he had gone 28-18 with six saves and a 3.98 ERA in 296 games in Nippon Pro Baseball.
Misawa came to the USA in 2008 with the Gary SouthShore RailCats and dazzled, going 7-1 with 6 saves and a 1.69 ERA in 29 games. He allowed 24 hits in 42 2/3 innings and struck out 54. In 2009, he moved to the Long Beach Armada. He then became a scout for Yomiuri.