About 2 minutes reading time.

International Player of the Week: Hiroto Takahashi

 Julian Guilarte - World Baseball Network  |    Jul 6th, 2024 9:35am EDT

The winner of WBN’s International Player of the Week is Chunichi Dragons right-handed pitcher Hiroto Takahashi in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball League.

Takahashi, 21, threw a complete shutout against the Hiroshima Toyo Carp in a 2-0 win on July 5 at the Valentine Dome. He threw it under 100 pitches and just qualified for the “Maddux,” coined after Atlanta Braves pitcher Greg Maddux threw a 76-pitch complete game shutout against the Chicago Cubs on July 22, 1997.

Takahashi registered 17 whiffs and was still hitting 96 MPH with his fastball in the ninth inning. His fastest pitch in the NBP was over 98 MPH. His line was nine innings, four hits, 0 runs, one walk, and seven strikeouts.

Takahashi has been lights out this season, lowering his ERA to 0.64. He has 29 strikeouts in 38 innings this season. Takahashi made his NPB debut in 2022 with the Chunichi Dragons and has pitched in the NPB for three seasons.

His career numbers are 332.1 innings, 336 strikeouts, and an ERA of 2.11 in the NPB.

Takahashi also pitched for Team Japan in the 2023 World Baseball Classic and helped them win 3-2 against Team USA in the finals at loanDepot Park in Miami. Takahashi pitched one scoreless inning with two strikeouts against the U.S.

Fellow Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto has mentored Takashahi and also features a splitter that’s around 80 MPH.

Yokohama DeNA Baystars pitcher Kentaro Taira also fires a complete game shutout

Yokohama DeNA Baystars right-handed pitcher Kentatio Taira also threw a complete shutout against the Yakult Swallows in a 3-0 on July 4.

Taira, 28, struck out five batters with no walks and seven hits allowed. It was the first complete game shutout of his career. Taira has pitched 22 innings, 15 strikeouts, and an ERA of 0.78 this season. He made his NPB debut with the Yomiuri Giants in 2016 and has pitched eight seasons for the Baystars.

His career numbers in the NBP are 330 innings, 265 strikeouts, and an ERA of 3.27.

Photo Credit: Hiroto Takahashi #28 of Team Japan celebrates at the end of the fifth inning against Team USA during the World Baseball Classic Championship. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)

author avatar
Julian Guilarte - World Baseball Network