Tsuyoshi Yoda's first job as manager was to be the one to pull out the ticket to claim Neo's signature. He, along with representatives from the Swallows, Fighters and Giants all had their hands on a ticket, and it was the former closer that closed the deal, pulling out the winning ticket. This is the first time in a long time the Dragons have gone after the tastiest pick at the draft, let alone with so much competition for the signature and it was to be the perfect start to Yoda's tenure.
Neo himself kept a demure posture after being selected. Neo was a Dragons fan when he was in primary school and being a native of Gifu prefecture falls well into the Dragons catchment. Neo is a short-stop but can pitch. It is possible he could be targetted to be a 2-way player with Yoda suggesting he would listen to what Neo wanted to do and go from there. He feels he has a superstar on his hands and wants to ensure he can be a productive member of the team in whatever way possible.ずっと見ていたいこの瞬間 pic.twitter.com/sFsBMwmYfD— のもとけ (@gnomotoke) 2018年10月25日
Neo himself has said that it's a team that he has a familiarity with as it was the team that was on TV when he turned it on as a child and he has said he has an image of the Dragons as as strong team. He feels that there is a connection between him and the team saying he wants to do his best as a member of the Dragons.
|Akira Neo is "the one" for the Dragons|
Apart from Neo, the Dragons has a wonderful draft with most players being taken being one's on the scouting team's shortlist for quite some time.
|1||Akira Neo||根尾 昂||SS||18||Osaka Toin HS||Gifu|
|2||Kodai Umetsu||梅津 晃大||RHP||22||Toyo University||Miyagi|
|3||Akiyoshi Katsuno||勝野 昌慶||RHP||21||Mitsubishi Heavy Industry Nagoya||Gifu|
|4||Kota Ishibashi||石橋 康太||C||18||Kanto Daiichi HS||Chiba|
|5||Kenshin Kakikoshi||垣越 建伸||LHP||18||Yamanashi Gakuin HS||Gifu|
|6||Kaname Takino||滝野 要||OF||22||Osaka Commercial University||Mie|
|Kodai Umetsu looks good in blue.|
Katsuno is another that could be quite close to contributing.
Ishibashi is a hard-hitting slugger-catcher that I'm sure the Dragons will be over the moon to have on the books. He'll be the youngest catcher in the team by some way and it might also mean a goodbye to one of our existing catchers. Ishibashi was regarded as the top high school catching prospect at the draft this year.
|Kota Ishibashi knows how to bashi|
Overall 10/10 draft for me. The Dragons addressed a lot of areas here that they wanted to address and captured some great players along the way.
I will be sure to provide more detailed profiles by the weekend. For the time being, a great day for the Dragons. Doraho~!