The Sénart Templiers will be without the services this season of star American pitcher Shane Priest, who is taking his talents to Metz. That’s the bad news for the boys in powder blue.
The good news, as the team revealed earlier this week, is that they’re bringing on a certain Koki Takahashi.
But who is he exactly?
Good question, and one that Sénart’s recruitment announcement doesn’t really answer other than to say that Takahasi is 25 years old, is a right-hander, and hails from the so-called Land of the Rising Sun.
Curious to learn a bit more about this mystery man from Japan, Le Baseblog plugged the pitcher’s name into everyone’s favorite research tool: Google.
The result? A whole lot of…. nada!
This, as we discovered last season while trying to prepare an article about fellow Japanese import Kenjiro Sugiura, is what happens when you’re conversant in French, English and Spanish but don’t speak a lick, malheureusement, of Japanese.
So now what? Time to say sayounara to the assignment?
Not so fast, because lucky for us, we have an ace up our sleeve for just this kind of scenario: a special correspondent in Japan. We’ll call him “Mr. Z,” and this is what he came up with:
Takahashi grew up in Shiga Prefecture, smack dab in the middle of the country’s main island, between the cities of Kyoto, to the east, and Nagoya, on the other side.
Wow, it looks pretty nice!
He stands 5’8” (1.72 m), attended a college preparatory school called Omi Brotherhood Senior High School, and later studied at Kyoto Sangyo University.
From there he “bounced around the independent leagues quite a bit,” our source reports. From the Shonan Baseball Club, Takahashi went to the Shiga Go Blacks before playing with the Ishikawa Million Stars and finally the Oita B-Rings.
With the latter, the right-hander posted a 6.32 ERA last season, pitching 15 2/3 innings mostly in relief. Takahashi finished the season with a pair of saves and win-loss record of 1-2.
Expect those numbers to go up in France’s D1 league, especially given the hurler’s arsenal of pitches. He’s got a slider, a curveball and even a forkball, apparently. Oh, and one more thing: Takahashi has been clocked at a maximum velocity of 92 mph.
– Le Baseblog (with a huge helping hand from Zuiryo Taniguchi)