Kikuchi with the Saitama Seibu Lions
|Seattle Mariners – No. 18|
|Born: June 17, 1991|
Morioka, Iwate, Japan
|NPB: June 12, 2011, for the Saitama Seibu Lions|
|MLB: March 21, 2019, for the Seattle Mariners|
|NPB statistics |
(through 2018 season)
|Earned run average||2.77|
|MLB statistics |
(through June 29, 2019)
|Earned run average||5.12|
|Career highlights and awards|
Yusei Kikuchi (born June 17, 1991) is a Japanese professional baseball pitcher for the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball (MLB). Kikuchi formerly played for the Saitama Seibu Lions of Nippon Professional Baseball's Pacific League.
He is the first Japanese-born player to make his major league debut in Japan.
Professional career[change | change source]
Saitama Seibu Lions[change | change source]
On November 20, 2009, Kikuchi signed a pro deal with the Saitama Seibu Lions; the deal included a 100 million yen (about $1 million) signing bonus, a 15 million yen ($150,000) first year salary, and 50 million yen ($500,000) in performance bonuses.
After the 2011 season, Seibu announced that Kikuchi would join the Melbourne Aces of the Australian Baseball League (ABL).
In 2018, Kikuchi was selected for the 2018 NPB All-Star game.
On December 3, 2018, Seibu announced it was allowing Kikuchi to enter the posting system to play in Major League Baseball, with the 30-day period starting a month later.
Seattle Mariners[change | change source]
On January 2, 2019, Kikuchi signed a four-year contract with the Seattle Mariners. Kikuchi made his MLB debut on March 21, 2019, going 4.2 innings while allowing 2 runs (1 earned) and striking out 3.