|Ht./Wt.:||6-2, 195 lbs.|
Koji signed a one-year deal with the Cubs in December of 2016 following four seasons with the Boston Red Sox, including a World Series title in 2013 ... has pitched professionally since 1999, amassing over 600 appearances between Yomiuri in the NPB Central League from 1999-2008 and eight seasons in the majors with Baltimore (2009- 11), Texas (2011-12) and Boston (2013-16) ... In eight major league seasons, has gone 19-22 with 67 holds, 93 saves and a 2.53 ERA (123 ER/437.2 IP) in 387 outings, all but 12 in relief ... Has struck out 522 batters and walked only 66 in 437.2 innings, an average of 10.7 strikeouts and 1.4 walks per 9.0 innings ... Owns a 0.86 WHIP in his big league career, the lowest mark in major league history among pitchers with at least 400.0 innings, while his 7.91 strikeout to walk ratio is best in major league history (min. 400.0 IP) ... Named a 2014 A.L. All-Star, his first selection in MLB. © Made an A.L.-record 44 perfect appearances in 2013 ... had 65 scoreless appearances in 2013, tying for the MLB lead (also Atlanta's Luis Avilan and the Dodgers Paco Rodriguez) ... Established a Red Sox record by retiring 37 consecutive batters from August 17-September 13, 2013 ... was the second-longest streak for a single season by a reliever in MLB history (Bobby Jenks, 41 in 2007 for White Sox) ... Converted 31-consecutive regular season save chances from July 9, 2013-June 16, 2014, the second-longest save streak in Red Sox history (Tom Gordon, 54, April 19, 1998-May 31, 1999) ... Is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA (6 ER/18.0 IP) and seven saves in 19 career MLB post-season games ... made five scoreless outings in the 2013 World Series against the Cardinals (4.2 IP) ... Named the MVP of the 2013 ALCS vs. Detroit, recording three saves and five scoreless outings (6.0 IP) ... Walked fewer than 10 batters in six-straight seasons from 2010-15 ... Went 112-62 with 33 saves, a 3.01 ERA (518 ER/1,549.0 IP) and 1,376 strikeouts with the Yomiuri Giants from 1999-2008 ... had a career 1.01 WHIP, averaged 8.0 strikeouts per 9.0 innings and had a 6.7 strikeout to walk ratio in Japan ... helped the Giants to the Japan Series Championship in 2000 and 2002. w Led the NPB in wins in 1999 (20) and 2002 (17), in ERA in 1999 (2.09) and 2004 (2.60) and in strikeouts in 1999 (179) and 2003 (194) ... An eight-time NPB All-Star, was selected in each of his first seven seasons from 1999-2005 as well as in 2007 ... Won the Sawamura Award as NPB's top pitcher, earned the Golden Glove Award, and was named to the Top Nine Team as NPB's best all-around starting pitcher in both 1999 and 2002 ... Named the Central League Rookie of the Year in 1999 ... won the Central League Triple Crown that year, going 20-4 with a 2.09 ERA (46 ER/197.2 IP) and 179 strikeouts ... Selected by the Yomiuri Giants in the first round of the 1998 draft after starring at Osaka University of Health and Sports Sciences ... graduated in 1998 ... Participated in both the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games for Team Japan ... Helped Japan to the championship at the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006 (2-0, 1.95 ERA in three starts) ... Was 2-0 with a 2.13 ERA in 25.1 innings in the 1998 World Cup, leading the tournament in strikeouts (33) and wins ... Went 1-0 and did not allow an earned run in 11.2 innings for the Gold-Medal winning Japanese team in the 1997 Intercontinental Cup ... named to the All-Tournament Team ... Became a pitcher in college after playing outfield at Osaka's Tokaidai Gyosei High School.
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