2018.12.03

大谷「雄星さんと対戦楽しみ」 本紙単独インタビュー

単独インタビューで笑顔で答えるエンゼルスの大谷翔平選手=2日、東京都内
単独インタビューで笑顔で答えるエンゼルスの大谷翔平選手=2日、東京都内

 【東京支社】米大リーグでア・リーグ最優秀新人(新人王)に輝いたエンゼルスの大谷翔平選手(24)=花巻東高=は2日、東京都内で岩手日報社の単独インタビューに応じ、大リーグ挑戦が見込まれる菊池雄星投手(27)=花巻東高=について「雄星さんは普通に結果を残されると思います。対戦機会があれば、もちろん楽しいんじゃないかな」と、花巻東対決に期待を込めた。

(3日朝刊紙面で詳報、新人王特別号発売

 昨年12月1日のポスティング申請から1年。投打の二刀流で新人王に選ばれ「1年前はチームも決まっていなかったし、(投打の)二つ考えて取ってくれるチームがないなら、一つに絞ることも考えていた」と明かした。

 メジャー1年目から投手で4勝を挙げ、打者では22本塁打を放ち「どのくらいできるだろうという予測も立てていなかった。絶対的な数があれば目標も立てられるけれど、チームの戦力として地位(レギュラー)を取りにいく段階だったから」と振り返った。

岩手日報社の単独インタビューに応じる大谷翔平選手=12月2日、東京都内

=本文英訳=

“Looking forward to playing against Yusei-san” Ohtani speaks in exclusive interview with Iwate Nippo

Los Angeles Angels two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani, the 2018 American League Rookie of the Year, has high expectations that he will have a Major League Baseball (MLB) encounter with fellow Japanese pitcher Yusei Kikuchi, who is trying to pursue a career in North America through the posting system after spending nine years in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) with the Seibu Lions.
“I think Yusei-san can produce results that would be as good as he had in Japan,” Ohtani said of Kikuchi’s major league prospects in an exclusive interview with Iwate Nippo Co. in Tokyo on Dec. 2.
“If I had an opportunity to play against him, I would of course enjoy it,” added the 24-year-old from Iwate Prefecture's Hanamaki Higashi High School, also the alma mater for Kikuchi, 27.

It has been just a year since the Nippon Ham Fighters posted Ohtani to the majors. Looking back, Ohtani said, “A year ago, it was not decided yet which team I would join and I was even considering focusing on (playing) one way (either pitching or hitting) if there was no club willing to let me play both ways.”

“I hadn’t made any prediction whatsoever about how much I would be able to achieve,” he said as he recalled how he started his 2018 season that culminated with him receiving the Rookie of the Year honor for recording four wins on the mound and 22 home runs. “If I would have had undisputed numbers (in my career before), I would have been able to come up with certain goals. But I was still in the stage of seeking to win a position in the lineup as a reliable resource for the team.”

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