Terumitsu Kumano

From BR Bullpen

Terumitsu Kumano (熊野 輝光)

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 7", Weight 165 lb.

BR Japan page

Biographical Information[edit]

Terumitsu Kumano was an outfielder in Nippon Pro Baseball and made one Best Nine selection.

Kumano was on the Chuo University team that won the All-Japan University Baseball Championship Series in 1979. The Yakult Swallows drafted him in the third round that year, but he refused to sign with them. He played for Nippon Musical Instruments in the industrial leagues. He was on the Japanese national team in the 1981 Intercontinental Cup and the 1984 Olympics (Japan finished first, but baseball was not a medal event).

Both the Hankyu Braves and Yakult chose him in the third round of the 1984 draft; Hankyu won the rights. He was a starter in the outfield as a rookie; his first hit came off Shinichi Kato and his first home run against Tomio Tanaka. He hit .295/.368/.479 with 14 homers, 13 steals in 116 tries, 74 runs and 60 RBI as a rookie in 1985. He not only was named Pacific League Rookie of the Year but won Best Nine honors as one of the PL's top three outfielders (alongside Eiji Kanamori and Masashi Yokota).

Kumano slumped to .237/.328/.381 in 1986. In 1987, he rebounded to bat .291/.380/.440 with 11 HR in 327 AB. He had more walks (46) than whiffs (42). Had he qualified, he would have been 8th in average (between Hideaki Takazawa and Hiromi Matsunaga) and 5th in OBP (between Kazuhiro Kiyohara and Boomer Wells). He was 6th in walks despite his somewhat limited playing time.

It would be Kumano's last big year in NPB. He hit .216/.325/.325 in 95 games in 1988 and .236/.343/.293 in 147 plate appearances (71 G) in 1989 as Hankyu became the Orix BlueWave. At age 32/33, he batted .246/.302/.379 with 12 steals in 13 tries in 102 games in 1990. He had 91 plate appearances in 45 games in 1991, producing at a .207/.286/.244 clip.

He was then traded to the Yomiuri Giants for Hironori Suguro. He hit .162/.281/.270 in 90 plate appearances over 74 games in 1992 then was 0 for 5 in 1993. He returned to Orix in 1994 but did not get into a game and retired.

He had hit .254/.342/.389 in 740 NPB games, with 240 runs, 195 RBI and 50 homers. He did not try to steal a great deal, but had a superb steal rate (54 SB, 11 CS).

Kumano later was a minor league coach for Orix then scouted for Orix (1997-2004), the Orix Buffaloes (2005-2011) and the Yomiuri Giants (2012- ).

Sources[edit]