Kosuke Kato (加藤 康介)
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 5' 11", Weight 176 lb.
Kosuke Kato has pitched eight seasons in Nippon Pro Baseball through 2009.
Kato only won five career games in college yet was picked by the Chiba Lotte Marines in the second round of the 2000 draft. Thrust into their rotation as a rookie in 2001, he held his own at 9-10, 4.11 to finish 8th in the Pacific League in ERA. He then starred for the Japanese national team in the 2001 Baseball World Cup, going 1-0 with a 1.04 ERA and beating the Cuban national team. Japan finished 4th.
Kosuke fell to 11-15 with a 4.58 ERA in 2002 and led the PL in defeats. His 148 strikeouts were better than 9 of the league's top 10 in ERA, though, trailing only Fumiya Nishiguchi. Battling dermatitis in 2003, Kato was just 1-5 with a 8.03 ERA and 21 walks in 24 2/3 innings. He allowed 11 hits, 4 walks and 10 runs in 5 1/3 innings in 2004 and was 0-1 when healthy.
Back in the minors for 2005, he threw the first perfect game in the Eastern League in 18 years. With the Marines that year, he had a 2-3, 3.76 record in 9 games in the PL. He was 1-3 with a 5.33 ERA in 2006 and missed the second half due to a shoulder injury.
The Yokohama BayStars signed Kato as a LOOGY for 2009 and he was 1-0 with a 3.68 ERA in 31 games, fanning 37 in 29 1/3 innings. He allowed only a .202 average but walked 18. Through that campaign, he had a career mark of 25-39, 4.67 in 127 NPB games.
- Defunct IBAF site
- Japan Baseball Daily by Gary Garland