Yoshinori Tateyama

Name (Japanese): 建山 義紀
Date of Birth: December 26, 1975
Hometown: Daitoh City, Osaka Prefecture
High School: Gyosei High School (Osaka)
Vocational School: Koga Health & Medical School (Shiga)
Industrial League Team: Matsushita Electric (Panasonic)
Height: 178 cm (5’10”)
Weight: 75 kg (165 lb)
Throws/Bats: Right/Right
Wore #: 53 (with Tigers)
Originally drafted by: Nippon Ham Fighters, 1998 – Round 2
Joined the Tigers’ roster in: 2014
Career Achievements/Awards: Outstanding Relief Pitcher (2004); All-Star Team (2000)
Career Stats
Year Team GP GS W L SV HLD CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
1999 Nippon Ham 22 16 6 5 0 1 1 106.0 101 43 34 11 29 62 2.89 1.23
2000 Nippon Ham 28 13 6 8 0 2 0 89.1 106 57 55 15 29 55 5.54 1.51
2001 Nippon Ham 10 1 1 0 0 0 0 14.1 22 17 17 5 9 9 10.67 2.16
2002 Nippon Ham 45 0 3 2 4 0 0 59.0 40 16 15 7 13 41 2.29 0.90
2003 Nippon Ham 32 0 2 1 15 0 0 37.1 24 9 9 5 4 31 2.17 0.75
2004 Nippon Ham 41 0 1 3 0 0 0 46.1 39 17 12 4 7 39 2.33 0.99
2005 Nippon Ham 45 0 4 6 2 10 0 0 51.1 50 22 21 10 8 35 3.68 1.13
2006 Nippon Ham 46 0 3 3 0 8 0 0 47.0 42 18 16 6 10 30 3.06 1.11
2007 Nippon Ham 7 7 2 4 0 0 1 0 41.0 33 20 19 7 9 31 4.17 1.02
2008 Nippon Ham 58 0 1 2 2 22 0 0 67.1 61 23 23 3 12 53 3.07 1.08
2009 Nippon Ham 46 0 5 7 0 19 0 0 47.2 53 24 20 3 15 43 3.78 1.43
2010 Nippon Ham 58 0 1 2 4 25 0 0 55.0 43 11 11 3 11 59 1.80 0.98
2011 Texas Rangers 39 0 2 0 1 4 0 0 44.0 37 23 22 8 11 43 4.50 1.09
2012 Texas Rangers 14 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 17.0 18 19 17 4 6 18 9.00 1.41
2014 Hanshin 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7.1 9 3 3 0 1 3 3.68 1.36
NPB Career   446 37 35 43 27 84 4 1 669.0 623 280 255 79 157 491 3.43 1.17
MLB Career   53 0 3 0 1 4 0 0 61.0 55 42 39 12 17 61 5.75 1.18
 
Biography
Yoshinori Tateyama was the Nippon Ham Fighters’ second round pick in the 1998 draft out of Matsushita Electric (Panasonic) of the industrial league.Even in his rookie year he was able to find a spot in the starting rotation, and pledged to donate some of his salary to a conservation park in Okinawa. Tateyama struggled through his sophomore and junior seasons, but was able to turn things around throwing out of the bullpen from 2002 on, getting full use out of his fastball, sinker and slider. In 2004, he went from the closer’s role into more of a set-up position, where he contributed to the team’s Nippon Series championship in 2006. However, he attempted a return to the starting rotation the next year (in which the Fighters repeated as champs) but only made 7 starts due to injuries. These hurts continued to plague Tateyama the rest of his time with the Fighters, though in his final season, 2010, he was able to make 58 mound appearances.

Tateyama exercised his international free agent rights at season’s end, and signed with the Texas Rangers. He started the 2011 season on the farm, but made his big league debut on May 24th against the White Sox. He recorded his first career save four days later and his first win on June 21st. Through August 23, he was having an excellent debut season, but things quickly fell apart after that. In fact, Tateyama became the second player in MLB history to allow grand slams to back-to-back hitters (obviously across two mound appearances). The 2012 season was one of ups and downs, in which Tateyama dominated AAA ball but could not find a spot on the top squad. He was released at season’s end but signed a minor-league deal with the Rangers for the 2013 season. He finished his injury-plagued stint with the Rangers without a final promotion to the majors, and was traded to the New York Yankees on June 21st. He spent the remainder of the season in the minors, putting up good numbers but not getting called up. Despite a good spring camp in 2014 with the Yankees, Tateyama struggled on the farm early, and was released on May 9th

Tateyama returned from America and was plucked up by Hanshin on June 25th. He made his return to NPB action on July 31st (at Koshien vs. Yakult Swallows). He gave up 2 runs in 1 inning of work. Just seven relief appearances later, Tateyama was sent to the farm, and at season’s end, he announced his retirement. He became the first (and so far only) player to wear #53 since Norihiro Akahoshi announced his retirement prior to the 2010 season.

Tateyama has remained in baseball as a commentator for Nikkan Sports and local Hokkaido game telecasts.

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