Chunichi Dragons

The Nagoya-based Dragons are one of the current establishment’s first teams, taking part in the 1936 tournaments. They won their first pennant and Japan Series in 1954, but wouldn’t win their second until 2007. That came under Hiromitsu Ochiai, who won four of the franchise’s nine pennants. Ochiai was ostensibly fired because he was not fan-friendly enough.

  • Manager: Tsuyoshi Yoda
  • 2019 Finish: 5th, 9 games back and 5 games under .500 despite outscoring their opponents 545-544.

Manager’s record:

Prev. 3 yrs42817923910.4286,5,5

Yoda is the second Dragons closer from the 1980s to early 1990s to manage in NPB, after Kazuhiko Ushijima, who managed the BayStars in 2005 and 2006. There doesn’t appear to be anything unusual about the way he managed the club in 2019.

The most unorthodox thing he did was hand the second base job to 29-year-old career minor leaguer Toshiki Abe, who turned into one of the team’s biggest contributors.

The Dragons have been a fast, hit-the-ball-on-the-ground and play good defense team. Under Yoda, the pitching and defense were both much better, while injury cost Zoillo Almonte, a big power and on-base guy, two-thirds of the season and could have meant the difference between finishing second and fifth.

The Dragons’ home park, is one of Japan’s toughest home run parks because of its high distant outfield walls, making the Dragons’ league-worst ERA in 2018, a singular feat.

Key players

Yohei Oshima CF
Yota Kyoda SS
Dayan Viciedo 1B
Shuhei Takahashi 3B
Toshiki Abe 2B
Ryosuke Hirata RF
Takuma Kato C
Nobumasa Fukuda LF, 3B
Naomichi Donoue 2B, 3B, SS

Strengths and weaknesses

Team Offensive rankings

  • Best in the league: doubles, triples, strikeouts, BABiP, Avg
  • Next to worst in the league: runs, SB pct, OBP, Slug, Iso Power
  • Worst in the league: home runs, walks

Rankings against opponents’ offense

  • Best in the league: runs, triples, BABiP, Avg

Other rankings

  • Best in the league: errors, (45 errors ties the Dragons for 4th fewest in Japanese pro baseball history. the record is 38), saves (Hiroshi Suzuki led Chunichi with 14 saves, the fewest for a team leading the league in saves since 1985)
  • And… the Dragons were last in the league in intentional walks issue, but it’s basically a five-team race between managers who issue 20 to 33 a year and DeNA’s


Notes: Names in all caps are imported players; names with asterisks still qualify as rookies, hyperlinks are to the player’s English language page.

PosNameNo.Prev years
PShinnosuke Ogasawara114
PShinji Tajima128
PYuki Hashimoto*130
PKeisuke Tanimoto1412
PKatsuki Matayoshi166
PYuya Yanagi173
PKazuki Yoshimi1914
PToshiya Okada2110
PYudai Ono229
PKoji Fukutani247
PYu Sato254
PKodai Umetsu281
PDaisuke Yamai2918
PTakuma Achira306
PDaisuke Sobue336
PHiroto Fuku344
PYuichiro Okano*360
PTakahiro Matsuba388
PSho Ishikawa*402
PAkiyoshi Katsuno*411
PTakuya Mitsuma434
PHiroshi Suzuki462
PShotaro Kasahara473
PTatsuya Shimizu502
PKento Fujishima543
PTakumi Yamamoto592
PKenshin Kakigoshi*611
PRyushin Takeuchi*620
PRyosuke Oguma6411
PJunki Ito6511
PYARIEL RODRIGUEZ6708/3 Signed from Dev roster. Rookie eligible
PTatsuro Hamada695
PKento Marc Ishida*8219/23 Signed from dev roster
PYusuke Kinoshita*982
PShota Suzuki996
PTomohiro Hamada*2023
PTaisuke Maruyama*2043
PAkito Okura*2061
PHiroaki Matsuda*2070
CShota Ono2711
CTakuya Kinoshita354
CYuya Gunji*440
CTakuma Kato525
CARIEL MARTINEZ5717/1 Signed from dev roster.
CKota Ishibashi*581
CIori Katsura686
IFWataru Takamatsu*02
IFYota Kyoda13
IFTakaya Ishikawa*20
IFShuhei Takahashi38
IFToshiki Abe54
IFAkira Neo*71
IFShun Ishikawa95
IFMasami Ishigaki*323
IFTaiki Mitsumata3710
IFHayato Mizowaki487
IFNobumasa Fukuda5513
IFNaomichi Donoue6313
IFRyota Ishioka*2054
OFAtsushi Fujii414
OFRyosuke Hirata614
OFYohei Oshima810
OFIssei Endo235
OFMasataka Iryo265
OFMasaru Watanabe*312
OFKosuke Ito*492
OFKaname Takino*511
OFKengo Takeda568
OFYuki Okabayashi*600

2019 team data


Yohei OshimaL143623558891742333453075078.312.376.380.340
DAYAN VICIEDOR143594534561684301893214188.315.374.496.376
Yota KyodaL140574507461261453401773791.249.302.314.275
Toshiki AbeR12948444751130243759103182.291.337.405.326
Shuhei TakahashiL11747143050126285759343270.293.345.430.335
Ryosuke HirataR9540736052100214832363853.278.350.425.339
Nobumasa FukudaR10535231055891801866013269.287.358.519.374
Takuma Kato*R9224522419517301300957.
Naomichi DonoueR982171932541901239101356.212.262.446.305
ZOILO ALMONTEB4917416419548072501837.329.362.506.376
Atsushi FujiiB61154141123181112101133.220.279.312.266
Issei EndoL10812011122304221144528.270.314.396.309
Masataka IryoL55103100929910900321.290.311.400.313
Takuya KinoshitaR399888520602800522.227.289.364.286
Shota OnoR3462536910030059.
Yuya YanagiR26604558200300519.
Yudai OnoL25564814000100224.
Shingo TakeyamaR30514569201400313.200.280.311.270
Kyohei KamezawaL4749477601020315.
Masato MatsuiL20393337200200412.
ENNY ROMEROR21383101000000322.
Yusuke MatsuiR16373237200200313.
Kengo TakedaR29363525000100012.
Taiki MitsumataR2133272320000046.
Kosuke Ito*R1433326610010008.
Masaru Watanabe*L27292734200210111.
STEVEN MOYAB722221500130007.227.227.364.255
Daisuke YamaiR1318150200000006.
Kota Ishibashi*R1218170101020008.
Hayato MizowakiL816153301000012.200.250.333.238
Masami Ishigaki*R1515151220010007.
Shinnosuke OgasawaraL714131320020004.231.231.385.269
Takumi Yamamoto*R913110100010008.
Shotaro KasaharaL812120100000006.
Kodai Umetsu*R610100100000005.
Shota Tomonaga*L101090000000014.000.1000000.070
Tatsuya Shimizu*R8970200000003.
Iori KatsuraR4981200000002.
Shun Ishikawa*R8880101030003.125.125.375.163
Kazuki YoshimiR5751100000001.
Akiyoshi Katsuno*R3760000000016.000.1430000.100
Takuma AchiraR7660100010004.
Katsuki MatayoshiR26420100000001.500.500.500.450
Daisuke MatsuzakaR2220000000001.000.0000000.000
Koji FukutaniR1220000000000.000.0000000.000
Takuya MitsumaR29220000000000.000.0000000.000
Akira Neo*L2220000000002.000.0000000.000
Daisuke SobueL44110000000001.000.0000000.000
Hiroto FukuL52110000000001.000.0000000.000
Hiroshi SuzukiR25110000000001.000.0000000.000
Kento FujishimaR32110000000001.000.0000000.000
Takahiro MatsubaL1110000000001.000.0000000.000
Wataru Takamatsu*L2001000000000.000.0000000.000


Yudai OnoL25229800.529177 2/3132184315652512.58
Yuya YanagiR261011700.611170 2/3165213814669673.53
ENNY ROMEROL210081000.444116 1/3106195510557554.26
Daisuke YamaiR13003500.375656613243735354.85
JOELY RODRIGUEZL640034141.42960 1/3423147713111.64
Hiroto FukuL5200200181.000.00052 2/3393165313122.05
Toshiya OkadaL530032137.60050 1/3448145320203.58
Daisuke SobueR44003413.42946 1/3423142716163.11
Takumi Yamamoto*R9003300.50045 1/3394242715152.98
Katsuki MatayoshiR26003303.50044 1/3355193721204.06
Shinnosuke OgasawaraL7003100.75038 2/334573212112.56
Tatsuya Shimizu*R8002200.50035 1/3405242422174.33
Kodai Umetsu*R6004100.80034 2/32831134992.34
Takuya MitsumaR29002204.50034 2/3306133113133.38
Shotaro KasaharaL8003200.60034 2/3394172223225.71
Takuma AchiraR7001300.250343711132122225.82
Keisuke TanimotoR380001013.00029 1/3312212417175.22
Kento FujishimaR320002014.00029191735882.48
Hiroshi SuzukiR250002141.00025291151612124.32
Shinji TajimaR21000105.0002118582216166.86
Kazuki YoshimiR5001100.50019 2/330041714146.41
Akiyoshi Katsuno*R3001200.33316 1/31629911116.06
Ryosuke OgumaR14001200.33315 2/3131914863.45
Yu SatoR70010001.000.0009 2/39076776.52
Yusuke Kinoshita*R5000000.0006 1/38036445.68
Koji FukutaniR1000000.00066126111.50
Daisuke MatsuzakaR2000100.0005 1/312022101016.88
Takahiro MatsubaL1000000.0002 2/350303310.13
Junki ItoR1000000.0001 1/370218854.00

What’s up with intentional walks?

And they definitely are up, especially in respect to a 30-year trend.

Sometimes you stumble across interesting stuff without having any idea what it means. In the BayStars managing comments, I mentioned that Alex Ramirez sacrifices less than any other manager in his league while issuing more intentional walks than anyone in Japan.

But it’s not like he was doing it a lot since 2016. There has been a huge surge since 2015-2017 in NPB intentional walks. Or rather, the three seasons from 2014 to 2017 represent a historic low for the tactic of gifting an opponent base runners. Intentional walks peaked in the CL in 1981, and have been in slow, steady decline since, making one wonder why the past two years have seen levels more like those from 1990 to 2000.

Anyone have any suggestions?

IBB frequencies 1980 to 2019

writing & research on Japanese baseball