Shun Yamaguchi

A Japanese pitcher for the major league baseball

Shun Yamaguchi
Shun Yamaguchi Source: Google

As the first Japanese player for the Blue Jays, athlete Shun Yamaguchi is featured in the MLB. Before that, he worked for the Nippon Professional Baseball teams Yomiuri Giants and Yokohama BayStars/Yokohama DeNA BayStars (NPB).

About Shun Yamaguchi |  Family and Education

On July 11, 1987, Shun Yamaguchi was born to Keiko Yamaguchi and Yamaguchi Hisashi under the Cancer sun sign.

He may be a single child who was born and reared in Oita, Japan, since there is no mention of any siblings.

We can presume Yamaguchi’s upbringing was enjoyable and memorable even though he hasn’t said much about it.


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The father of Yamaguchi, Hisashi, competed in sumo wrestling. Oct. 19, 2010, marked his passing. To be more precise, he debuted in January 1971 and won the title in May 1978.

His father had achieved maegashira 4 throughout his career till he finally resigned in November 1982.

Career in Amateurs

Shun Yamaguchi was anticipated to follow in his father’s footsteps and enter the sumo wrestling ring.

Yamaguchi began playing baseball and devoted his attention shortly after graduating from high school, nevertheless.

His sense of humor, which explains why he picked baseball over sumo wrestling, is what’s interesting.

“I believe the reason is that, as I grew older, I began to consider baring my butt in public.”


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He first achieved fame as a standout pitcher for Yanagigaura High School, where he averaged 94 mph.

He started his career through the 2005 high school draft because baseball was one of his interests.

Yamaguchi was selected in the first round of that time’s draft by the Yokohama BayStars to play in the Nippon Professional Baseball.

Professional Life and Career

Yamaguchi made his league debut in 2006 following a year of selection. Before signing on with the Yomiuri Giants in 2017, he spent ten years with the Yokohama BayStars.

Tokyo BayStars

Yamaguchi joined the organization as a rookie in 2007 and by 2008 had a 6.30 ERA. He subsequently switched to the bullpen.

The following three years saw him work as the team’s closer. He achieved a 3.27 ERA, 18 saves and even placed sixth in the Central League in saves during that period.

Shun was later included on the 2010 NPB All-Star Games roster. He had previously been third in saves behind Chang-Yong Lim and Hiroki Iwase.


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In the meantime, he broke Hiroaki Nakayama’s record for the game’s final score and won his second consecutive all-star award.

After multiple wins, he was forced to give up his position as closer. Jorge Sosa then assumed control of his closer duties.

Yamaguchi was thus a starter before becoming one regularly.

After a brief period, Yamaguchi tied Tomoyuki Sugano for the whole game in 2016 after a strong start. The very next year, he agreed to a free agent contract with the Yomiuri Giants.

Giants of Yomiuri

Due to his shoulder issues, he was only able to play in four games during his debut season with the organization after signing.

Additionally, he was required to serve a ban after attacking security games while intoxicated. He played the entire season without suffering an injury or getting into trouble the following year.

Shun recorded a 2.91 ERA in 2019, which is considered to be his greatest season as a starter. He began the 2019 Japan Series that year, which led to him making the Best Nine for the first time.


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Shun completed the series after finishing second in the 2019 Central League Most Valuable Player Award voting overall.

Yamaguchi started three games in the 2019 Premier 12 before the season ended.

Shun declared that he would enter the Major League Baseball posting system following the 2019 WBSC Premier12 (MLB).

As a result, Yamaguchi was posted to the MLB on December 3, 2019, becoming the first Giants player to do so.

Baseball, Major League Shun Yamaguchi

On December 28, 2019, the Toronto Blue Jays agreed to a two-year, $6.35 million contract with Yamaguchi.

As a result, he is currently wearing the team’s number one shirt. In conjunction with his entrance, a press conference and a fan gathering were conducted on January 15, 2020.

The start of the pandemic, however, prevented Yamaguchi from starting his game at that specific moment.


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He thus left on March 26 and did not return until the beginning of the regular season.

In regards to his MLB debut, which took place on July 27, 2020, the same can be said. He went on to win his first MLB match on August 26.

As of right now, Yamaguchi has a 2-4 record, an 8.06 ERA, 26 strikeouts in 25.2 innings of work, and 17 games played for the team as a whole.

“The Blue Jays are the only team that competes in Canada and not on the American side; I believe it sets them apart from other teams so significantly. The best league in the world is Major League Baseball. So I think it means a lot for me to play for the Blue Jays and play baseball at the best level in the world.”
-Yamaguchi Shun

Shun Yamaguchi| Playing Philosophy and Career Highlights

Yamaguchi, one of the best pitchers in Japan, mostly uses his fastball, splitter, and slider as his three best pitches.

It is well known that he is a right-handed pitcher who has struck out 26 batters. Yamaguchi throws and pitches all at a speed of 90 mph (tops out at 95 mph).


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“I’m still a [ground-ball] pitcher; I’m not going to change my pitching approach. To avoid receiving a strike from a ball, I want to make sure I receive a swing. These are a few of the modifications I intend to keep making going forward.”
-Shun Yamaguchi

Yamaguchi is an experienced player in the NPB, even though he has yet to make a name for himself in the MLB. The following highlights a few of his NPB-era accomplishments.

  • NPB All-Stars four (2010, 2011, 2016 & 2019)
  • wins master (2019)
  • Leading striker (2019)
  • Best Nine Prize (2019)

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Relationship Status

Four people make up Yamaguchi’s family; he is married. He is wed to actress and television personality Kaori Takagi from Japan.

On July 23, 1985, his wife, who was the idol of the gravure, was born.


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Additionally, although they exchanged vows on December 25, 2014, Takagi didn’t make their marriage public announcement until March 14, 2015, on her official blog.

After just one week, Takagi gave birth to their first child, a daughter, on March 20, 2015. After just one year, they once again welcomed their son on August 20, 2016.


Shun Yamaguchi was expelled from the team in July 2017 as a result of an embarrassing event.

According to the rumors, the player became quite drunk while celebrating his 30th birthday in a restaurant.

They also threatened to open an investigation against the security guard since they thought he had damaged the restaurant’s doors and other property.

Following the receipt of the report, it was asserted that the security guard had physical wounds, including bruises on the lower back and chest.


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Not to mention that the athlete’s trip to the hospital was reported after he cut his right hand at a restaurant. According to reports, broken glass is what caused the cut.

Following it, the public and the officials chastised the athletes and encouraged the team to take action.

In the end, he was shockingly and abruptly ejected from a game against the Chunichi Dragons. As a result, pitcher Hayato Takagi replaced him.

Net Worth and Salary | Shun Yamaguchi

Shun Yamaguchi’s net worth hasn’t been updated, however, he does make millions.


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He also makes an additional $3,175,000 on average annually in addition to a recent $6.35 million contract for only two years.

Body Measurement | Hair, Height, Weight

Shun Yamaguchi weighs 90 kg and stands at a height of 6 feet 1 inch (1.87 m) (198 lbs). Yamaguchi also has hair that is light brown.

Social Media

Instagram: 29.9K followers

Twitter: 207 followers

Frequently Asked Question:

Who is the spouse of Shun Yamaguchi?

On December 25, 2014, Shun Yamaguchi wed Kaori Takagi, a TV actress from Japan.

What is the most recent agreement Shun Yamaguchi has made?

The Toronto Blue Jays and Shun Yamaguchi agreed to a two-year, 6.35 million dollar deal.

How much money makes Shun Yamaguchi?

The compensation for Shun Yamaguchi in 2021 is $3,175k, and in 2019 it is 230m JPY.

Quick Facts | Shun Yamaguchi

Full Name Shun Yamaguchi
Date of Birth July 11, 1987
Birth Place Oita, Japan
Nick Name Not Available
Religion Unknown
Nationality Japanese
Ethnicity Asian
Zodiac Sign Cancer
Age 35 Years Old
Height 6 feet 1 inch (1.87 m)
Weight 90 kg (198 lbs)
Hair Color Light Brown
Eye Color Unknown
Build Athletic
Father’s Name Yamaguchi Hisashi
Mother’s Name Keiko Yamaguchi
Siblings None
Education Yanagawa High School
Marital Status Married
Wife Kaori Takagi
Kids A son and a daughter
Profession Baseball player
Position Pitcher
Affiliations Yokohama BayStars/Yokohama DeNA BayStars
Yomiuri Giants
Toronto Blue Jays
Active Years 2006-present
Net Worth $500,000-$1 million
Social Media Instagram, Twitter
Merch (Affiliations) Yokohama DeNA BayStars, New Era Men’s Hat.
Last Update September, 2022

Written by Jeni Watson

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