Tomoyuki Sugano

Last updated
Tomoyuki Sugano
Giants sugano 19.jpg
Sugano with the Yomiuri Giants
Yomiuri Giants – No. 18
Pitcher
Born: (1989-10-11) October 11, 1989 (age 31)
Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan
Bats: RightThrows: Right
NPB debut
March 30, 2013, for the  Yomiuri Giants
NPB statistics
(through 2020 season)
Win-Loss 101-49
Earned run average 2.32
Strikeouts 1,214
WHIP 1.03
Teams
Career highlights and awards
Medals
Men's baseball
Representing Flag of Japan.svg  Japan
WBSC Premier12
Bronze medal icon (B initial).svg 2015 Tokyo Team

Tomoyuki Sugano (菅野 智之, Sugano Tomoyuki, born October 11, 1989) is a Japanese professional baseball pitcher for the Yomiuri Giants of the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB).

Contents

Career

College career

Sugano went to Tokai University, where he had a 37-4 win-loss record and a 0.57 earned run average (ERA). In 2010, he set a career-high 157 km/h (98 mph) in college. [1]

2011 NPB draft

Sugano was a top pitching prospect for the October 2011 NPB draft  [ jp ]. Prior to the draft selection, he declared his desire to join the Yomiuri Giants and play under the guidance of his uncle, the present Giants manager Tatsunori Hara. The Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters also decided to select him as their first pick. [2] The two teams fought it out via lottery, but the Fighters drew the lucky straw in the end, to the surprise and disappointment of Manager Hara and the Giants for they had assumed no other team would dare pick Sugano. [3]

Sugano in 2014 Giants Sugano 19.jpg
Sugano in 2014

Both Sugano's father and grandfather were disappointed because they were not notified of the Fighters' intention to draft him, the latter even quoted saying it was a violation of human rights. [4] The Fighters did admit to having intentionally kept their intention to draft Sugano unannounced, and apologized for the surprise and the commotion they caused. [5]

After long consideration and deliberation with his family, Sugano finally announced on November 21 his decision to turn down the Fighters' offer and instead take the year off and re-enter the 2012 NPB draft  [ jp ]. "I may be taking a longer route (to becoming a professional ballplayer), but my childhood dream (of playing for the Giants) was stronger," he said, hinting at his intention to wait until the Giants win the rights to negotiate with him. [6] He also mentioned that he wasn't as upset about not being informed by the Fighters ahead of time that they might select him, but rather because they promised they wouldn't select him. [7] Only two players in NPB history have turned down the Fighters: Shinji Kuroda in 1976 and Ikuo Takayama in 1980. [8] [9]

Having no team to play for, he then stayed with Tokai University for another year using the "graduation postponement system" established for students who are unable to land post-graduation jobs while they are still in college. He was not allowed to play in Tokai's official games, but this did not sway him enough to join the Industrial League for it would have taken at least two years before he could have been drafted again. [6]

Yomiuri Giants

Sugano in 2016 Giants suganotomoyuki19.JPG
Sugano in 2016

Sugano was selected as the Giants' first pick in 2012. [10] In his rookie year, Sugano was named Climax Series MVP and made his first of six consecutive NPB All star games. [11]

In 2014, Sugano won the Central League MVP and his first ERA title. [11]

In 2017, Sugano won his first Eiji Sawamura Award, becoming the first Giants pitcher to ever win both the Eiji Sawamura Award and Central League MVP since Masumi Kuwata. [11]

In 2018, Sugano won his second consecutive Eiji Sawamura Award, and achieved the pitching triple crown, leading the league in strikeouts, ERA and wins. He threw a postseason no hitter against the Yakult Swallows, eliminating them from the postseason. [12]

In 2019 Sugano finished the season with an ERA of 3.89, the worst of his career. He also threw the fewest innings of his NPB career, had his fewest strikeouts and his home run rate was twice that of his career rate. [11]

After the 2020 season, on December 8, 2020, the Giants announced it was allowing Sugano to enter the posting system to play in Major League Baseball (MLB). [13]

On January 7, 2021, Sugano's posting period ended and he didn't sign with an MLB team, re-signing with the Giants. [14]

International career

Sugano played for the Japan national baseball team at the 2015 WBSC Premier12, winning a bronze medal. [11] At the 2017 World Baseball Classic Sugano tied with fellow Team Japan pitcher Kodai Senga for the tournament lead in strikeouts with 16; but Japan fell in the semi-finals to the eventual tournament winner Team USA, 2-1. [11]

Sugano was selected to participate in the 2018 MLB Japan All-Star Series, [15] but declined due to concerns about his physical condition. [16]

Playing style

Sugano is a 6 ft 1 in (186 cm), 210 lb (95 kg) right-handed pitcher. [17] Although Sugano threw 98 mph in college, his fastball velocity was down since the beginning of his professional career. The Giants confirmed that he had ligament damage in his right elbow during the 2014 season. [18] After rehab he set a pro career-high 96 mph in 2016. [19]

With a three-quarters delivery Sugano throws two fastballs (four-seam, shuuto/sinker) sitting 90-93 mph, a solid slider, a curveball, and a forkball. He has excellent command, posting a BB/9 of 1.8 in his NPB career.

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References

  1. "菅野、五輪出たい!ハワイで受賞の吉報「来年は日本一に貢献」". Sports Hochi . 2014-12-10.
  2. Koskrey, Jason (2012-04-16). "No changes to draft, posting system forthcoming says NPB commissioner". The Japan Times .
  3. "原監督、競合「突然だった」/ドラフト". Nikkan Sports . 2011-10-28.
  4. "菅野父も戸惑い「ドラフト制度を否定するわけじゃないけど…」". Sponichi Annex. 2011-10-28.
  5. "【日本ハム】菅野強行を東海大監督に謝罪". Nikkan Sports. 2011-10-28.
  6. 1 2 "Pitcher Sugano says he won't play for Fighters". The Asahi Shimbun. 2011-11-22.
  7. "菅野浪人決断ハム拒否 巨人愛貫き通す". Nikkan Sports . 2011-11-04.
  8. "過去1位拒否は25人、浪人は江川、元木". Nikkan Sports. 2011-11-21.
  9. "菅野 日本ハム拒否 社会人に行かず1年留年で巨人入り目指す". Sponichi Annex. 2011-11-21.
  10. "菅野投手ら新入団7選手 ファンに初お披露目". Giants News. 2012-11-23.
  11. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Scouting some of Japan's top potential MLB pitchers". sportsinfosolutionsblog.com. October 2, 2019. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
  12. "Tomoyuki Sugano no-hits Swallows". kyodonews.net. October 14, 2020. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
  13. "菅野投手の海外ポスティング申請について". 読売巨人軍公式サイト (in Japanese). December 8, 2020. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
  14. "菅野智之投手のポスティング手続きについて". 読売巨人軍公式サイト (in Japanese). January 8, 2021. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  15. "「2018日米野球」出場選手6名、コーチングスタッフが決定". 野球日本代表 侍ジャパン オフィシャルサイト (in Japanese). August 20, 2018. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  16. "巨人菅野が日米野球を辞退 コンディションを考慮し出場辞退". Full-Count (in Japanese). October 9, 2018. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  17. http://npb.jp/bis/players/41745137.html
  18. "菅野、MVP&3年目最高1・1億円!Wセ界一快挙も「満足していない". Sports Hochi . 2014-11-27.
  19. "巨人菅野2発に泣く 150キロ連発も「悔しい」]". Nikkan Sports . Nikkan Sports. 2016-07-28. Retrieved 2017-02-16.