Koichi Ogata (ogatako02)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 176 lb.
- High School Tosu High School
One of two players named Koichi Ogata born in 1968, this Ogata started his career as a speedster, swiping 40 or more bases four times. Later in his career, he developed more of a power stroke and he hit 20 or more home runs six times. He won five consecutive Gold Gloves as well. He had over 200 career steals and 200 career homers. Ogata made one All-Star team.
1986-1989: Minor leagues and a couple brief stints with Hiroshima
Ogata was drafted by the Hiroshima Carp in the third round of the 1986 draft. In his first professional season a year later, he hit .358 in the Western League. In 1988, Koichi went 1 for 5 in his Hiroshima debut, his one hit being a solo homer. In 1989, he was farmed out to the US and played for the Peninsula Pilots. There, he hit .239/~.364/.358 in 98 games, playing second and third base. Ogata struck out 95 times but drew 66 walks. He stole 41 bases, second in the Carolina League behind Rod Lofton. His five triples were two behind league leader Pat Kelly. Ogata played two games for Hiroshima that year, getting no at-bats but stealing one base and scoring one run.
1990-1995: As a part-timer
In 1990, the 21-year-old returned to Japan and hit a whopping .357/.400/.929 in his 15 plate appearances for the Carp. He played 32 games, scored 9 runs, homered on two of his five hits and was 2-for-2 in steal attempts. Koichi was used as a part-timer the next season, playing in 102 games but getting only 200 AB. He produced at a .185/.297/.275 with 12 steals in 18 tries. In his only Japan Series appearance, Ogata was 0 for 4 with a walk as Hiroshima fell in seven games to the Seibu Lions.
At age 25, the developing player batted .278/.338/.444 and was 12 for 17 in steals. He had 141 plate appearances over 57 games. In 1995, Ogata put up a .316/.429/.482 line in 335 plate appearances over 101 games. Despite his limited role, he still went 47 for 54 in stolen base attempts, leading the league by 12 ahead of runner-up Tetsuya Iida. From September 20 through October 8, he stole bases in ten consecutive games, a Central League record. He led the loop in steals and won his first Gold Glove.
1996-1999: The first run of big years
Hiroshima formed a star outfield in 1996 with Ogata, Tomoaki Kanemoto and Tomonori Maeda. Ogata went 50 for 60 in steal attempts and led the CL again. His six triples tied Bobby Rose for the lead. He hit 23 home runs, scored 95 times, drove in 71 and batted .279/.366/.484. He won another Gold Glove.
In 1997, Koichi hit .271/.361/.436 with 17 home runs, 103 runs, 70 walks and 49 stolen bases while getting caught 9 times and winning a third Gold Glove. He led the league in runs and led in steals, having almost as many as the next two combined (Iida and Kenjiro Nomura each had 26).
Ogata slipped in 1998, batting .326/.400/.524 amd won a Gold Glove. He fell to 17-for-29 in stolen base attempts, tying Toshihisa Nishi for third in the CL in swipes. He was 4th in the CL in average and led in times caught stealing.
Koichi had his best season in 1999. He hit .305/.414/.582 with 111 runs and 36 home runs. He drew 86 walks while only striking out 76 times. He was 18 for 30 steals and won his fifth consecutive (and final) Gold Glove. He led the CL in runs, edging Takanori Suzuki by one, and made his only league All-Star team. He led in caught stealing but was 4th in homers, third in walks, 4th in OBP, 5th in slugging and 7th in average. His 8 home runs leading off a game tied the NPB record. The only Central Leaguers with better OPSes were Hideki Matsui, Bobby Rose and Roberto Petagine.
2000-2001: The bad years
Ogata's career was hampered by knee surgeries and a hernia operation, which likely were the cause of his sudden drop-off in production from his career year to his worst year. In 2000, the 31-year-old flyhawk only managed a .182/.267/.364 line in 21 games. The next season, he appeared in 64 games and batted .245/.337/.440. While he was still showing some power, his speed was gone - he still just a single base all year.
Healthy again in 2002, Koichi hit .300/.373/.508 with 25 HR and finished 10th in the league in average. In 2003, he batted .300/.362/.530 with 35 doubles, 29 home runs and 82 RBI. He tied Makoto Imaoka for second in the league in two-baggers, one behind leader Ken Suzuki.
In 2004, the 35-year-old produced at a .292/.360/.515 clip and hit 26 homers. Still batting leadoff primarily, the center fielder scored 91 times, tying Andy Sheets for sixth in the league. The next season, Ogata was hit in the eye by a pitch from Hisashi Tokano but was back in action the next day. He batted .306/.381/.513 that season and was 9th in the league in both OBP and slugging; he just missed the top 10 in average, percentage points behind Tyrone Woods.
2006-2009: The Last Year
Ogata missed more than a month in 2006 after being hit by a Ryota Igarashi pitch. He hit .284/.349/.428 in 81 games, his worst year in five seasons. The 37-year-old was moved to the #6 slot in the order most of the year. He struggled badly in 2007 by batting .181/.233/.241 in 33 games.
Coaching and Managing=
Ogata became bench coach for Hiroshima after retiring. In 2015, he became their manager. He was 69-71 his first year then improved to 89-52 in 2016 as the team went to the 2016 Japan Series for their first Series in 25 years. They remained strong at 88-51 in 2017 and 82-59 in 2018 (falling in the 2018 Japan Series. After a 70-70 finish in 2019, he was replaced by Shinji Sasaoka despite the team's best run in decades.
Ogata's wife Kanako is an actress.
Through 2006, Ogata had hit .286/.368/.415 in NPB with 894 runs, 239 HR, 604 walks and 263 stolen bases. He was tied for 15th all-time in times hit by pitch (86).