The Saitama Seibu Lions held a special rookie camp for the month of January. All 10 draft picks were required to move into the team's dormitories, which was near Seibu II, the farm stadium of the Lions. Seibu II is next door to the Seibu Dome.
Here were some early comments from the rookies on their experience from last month. The order goes from the first round draft pick (Tawata) to the 10th round pick (Matsumoto):
Two weeks have passed since you moved into the Seibu Lions dormitory, how have things been since the move?
P Shinsaburo Tawata: "I'm getting used to this training and we get along with our elder coaches and players. Now I live a full life!"
P Seiji Kawagoe: "I've gotten quite used to the new surroundings and things are going well. I'd like to join training camp at this condition without injury."
P Shogo Noda: "I'm living a full life everyday and now I'm understanding baseball as the professional level. Soon, I'll move to the [ni-gun training camp] and I think I need to improve my body for the best condition possible."
OF Aito Otaki: "When watching our [veteran] players training, I began to notice their strengths. I've done new training techniques that I never did in high school. I'm still a high school student, so I have to build up my body. I will do my best to be an ichi-gun team member as soon as possible."
P Tadasuke Minamikawa: "[I'm two weeks in] to being a professional baseball player and I've adapted to these new surroundings. I'll continue to condition [my body] and will be ready to face [ni-gun camp]."
P Keisuke Honda: "Since gradually getting used to the training and the life in the dorm, I can feel more relaxed and lead a fulfilled life compared to Day 1."
IF Nien Ting Wu: "I'm more accustomed to these surroundings and training with a sense of fulfillment. Those feelings have given me with the [incentive] to do my best from now on."
P Tsubasa Kokuba: "I'm more and more getting used to this new environment and meeting our veteran players/coaches. Training camp begins soon and my professional baseball life has begun."
P Koki Fujita: "[This is] my first experience living in a dormitory and I'm being and more and more accustomed to it. For the first time, I could not sleep well. But now, I'm [doing fine]."
(Fujita was drafted straight out of high school, along with Otaki)
P Naoaki Matsumoto: "During these two weeks, I did what I could as far as training goes. As far as preparing for training camp, I've been working hard. So when I begin training camp, I will go along with the schedule well. I think that [taking care] of one's body is one of the most important [responsibilities] of the professional baseball players. Therefore I will master it."
A special thank you goes out to our friends known as "Maple Ash" and Mizuho Miyazaki for interpreting help.
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