Kazuhisa Makita...son of Yoshiyuki (father) and Shigeko (mother)...has one older sister, Akeno...attended Heisei Kokusai University where he studied Business Law before being signed by the Nippon Express of the Japan Amateur Baseball Association, the same team that former Padres relief pitcher Akinori Otsuka played for...after playing in high school and college in Japan, many players go to the Japan Amateur Baseball Association, including current Padres advisor for baseball operations and former National League Rookie of the Year Hideo Nomo...Nippon Professional Baseball began timing pitchers at the beginning of the 2016 season and he averaged the quickest time to pitch after receiving the ball from the catcher in both 2016 and 2017...after his playing career, he would like to continue working in baseball, possibly as a coach...follows soccer worldwide and is interested in the National Football League, although he does not know NFL rules well yet...enjoys golfing and playing video games...is a fan of the Fast and the Furious series...enjoys listening to Taylor Swift...his favorite restaurant in San Diego is Water Grill...his high school baseball coach, Mr. Yabuzaki, is the person who has influenced him the most.
Makita (prounounced ka-zoo-HEE-sah MAH-kee-tah) split the season between SD and El Paso (AAA), making his firstcareer Opening Day roster and his ML debut on 3/30 vs. MIL... became the first Japanese born player to pitch for SD since Akinori Otsuka in 2005... Among pitchers who threw at least 300 pitches in 2018, his 77.3 average velocity was the second-lowest behind BOS Steven Wright's 76.1 mph average...his fastball averaged at 80.6 mph and his slider averaged at 70.0 mph...Optioned to ELP five times throughout the course of the season...Posted a 1.69 ERA (1 ER, 5.1 IP) through his first six appearances (3/30-4/13)...From 4/16 through the end of the season, owned a 6.07 ERA (20 ER, 29.2 IP)...finished the season with four scoreless appearances in which opponents hit .111 and allowed just one extra-base hit (a double)...Tossed more than 1.0 IP on 10 occasions, owning a 2.08 ERA and a .113 opponent average in those outings... worked a career-high 3.1 innings on 8/16 vs. ARI...On the road, pitched to a 2.87 ERA (5 ER, 15.2 IP) and a .164 opponent average...at Petco Park, he had an 8.31 ERA (16 ER, 17.1 IP) with a .319 opponent clip...Had a 9.51 SO/9 IP, and among players who also made at least 27 appearances, his 65.1 first-pitch strike percentage ranked fifth among SD hurlers...Pitched seven times on 3-5 days of rest, in which he had a 0.79 ERA (1 ER, 11.1 IP) with a .111 opponent clip...Relied on five pitches: four-seamer (63.8%), slider (17.1%), sinker (11.5%), curve (5%) and changeup (2.6%).
Worked exclusively in relief for the second consecutive season for the Saitama Seibu Lions of Nippon Professional Baseball in the Japan Pacific League, going 3-3 with a 2.30 ERA (16 ER, 62.2 IP) and 35 SO against five BB in a career-high 58 relief appearances... Earned his fourth career and second consecutive NPB All-Star selection... Began the season with 16 consecutive scoreless appearances... Among Pacific League relievers, he ranked fifth in innings pitched, sixth in ERA and holds (28) and tied for sixth in appearances.. Allowed just four home runs despite facing the fourth-most batters (248) among Pacific League relievers... His five walks allowed were the fewest free passes among Pacific League relievers who tossed at least 35 innings... Did not throw a wild pitch or balk for the second consecutive season, one of only three Pacific League relievers to accomplish the feat in 2017 (min. 35.0 IP)... Served as the closer for bronze-medal winning Japan in the World Baseball Classic in March, going 1-0 with two saves and a 3.00 ERA (2 ER, 6.0 IP) in five relief appearances.