Shuta Tonosaki

From BR Bullpen


Shuta Tonosaki (外崎 修汰) (Apple Punch)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 10", Weight 165 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

Shuta Tonosaki has been an All-Star in Nippon Pro Baseball and has played for the Japanese national team.

Tonosaki's family runs an apple farm and is the source of his nickname "Apple Punch". [1] He won a Player of the Year award in college. [2] The Seibu Lions took him in the 3rd round of the 2014 NPB draft. [3] He made his Pacific League debut the next July, pinch-running for Takeya Nakamura and staying in at third base. He had a hit his first at-bat, off Tatsuya Sato. [4] His first homer came later that month off Mitsuo Yoshikawa. He finished the season at .186/.240/.247 in 43 games, one of five Seibu shortstops to play between 30 and 60 games.

In 2016, he slumped to .176/.222/.294 as a utility infielder. Moving primarily to the outfield in 2017, he became a starter and hit .258/.315/.390. He stole 23 bases in 26 tries and scored 65 runs. He was 5th in the PL in swipes, between Yuji Kaneko and Shogo Akiyama. He was named MVP of the 2017 Asia Professional Baseball Championship. [5]

Tonosaki made his first PL All-Star team for the 2018 NPB All-Star Games. In Game 1, a 7-6 PL win over the Central League, he replaced Lions teammate Akiyama in center. He singled off Onelki Garcia his first time up and came around on a hit by Alfredo Despaigne. His next time up, he grounded into a double play against Katsuki Azuma. [6] In Game 2, he started in RF and batted 2nd in a 5-1 win but struggled, whiffing against Tomoyuki Sugano and Daichi Osera then grounding out against Yuta Iwasada. He moved to second base when Akiyama took over in right, then was replaced by Hideto Asamura. [7] For the 2018 season, he produced at a .287/.357/.472 clip while alternating between the outfield and third base (with some time at 2B as well). He scored 70 runs, nailed 18 homers, drove in 67 and stole 25 bases in 34 attempts. He was on the PL leaderboard in average (9th, between Hiroaki Shimauchi and Shogo Nakamura), steals (6th), slugging (10th, between Nobuhiro Matsuda and Sho Nakata) and OPS (8th). He played for the NPB All-Stars when they topped the MLB All-Stars in the 2018 Nichi-Bei Series. [8]

The Aomori native moved to second base in 2019 when Asamura left the team and he led PL second sackers in putouts (361), assists (456), errors (14) and double plays (97). He hit .274/.353/.493 with 27 doubles, 26 homers, 63 walks, 96 runs and 90 RBI while going 22-for-28 in steals as an all-around threat. He tied Tomoya Mori for 2nd in the PL in runs (behind Akiyama), was 9th in doubles, tied for 2nd with 6 triples (one behind Takashi Ogino), was 10th in circuit clouts, ranked 6th in RBI (between Asamura and Brandon Laird), placed 6th in steals (between Ukyo Shuto and Haruki Nishikawa), was 4th in whiffs (132, between Hotaka Yamakawa and Laird), was 8th in slugging (between Asamura and Laird), was 9th in OPS (between Despaigne and Ogino) and was 6th with 263 total bases (between Asamura and Nakamura). He did not make the Best Nine as Asamura got the nod there. He was 12th in voting for the 2019 Pacific League Most Valuable Player Award. [9]

He made Japan's squad for the 2019 Premier 12, backing up Matsuda at 3B and Ryosuke Kikuchi at 2B. In his debut, he pinch-hit for Matsuda late in a 8-1 win over Taiwan and flew out against Yao-Lin Wang. He came up big in a 4-3 loss to Team USA (Japan's only loss), drawing walks from Penn Murfee and Clayton Richard and singling off J.P. Feyereisen before finally being retired his last time up. He was 2 for 11 with 4 walks, 2 steals and a run for the tournament while handling 10 chances error-free. He did get the start in the Gold Medal Game, hitting 6th and playing third, going 0 for 3 with a walk in a 5-3 win over South Korea. He tied Jo Adell, Ha-seong Kim, Seiya Suzuki and Aaron Whitefield for 3rd in the tourney in swipes. [10]