He actually turns 24 tomorrow (Nov. 28th).
Originally from Aichi Prefecture, Kinoshita was selected in the 2005 high school draft by Hokkaido (Nippon Ham). In addition to his fastball which reportedly sits in the 140s, he can throw several breaking and offspeed pitches including a fork, curve, cutter and slider.
He seems to be somewhat of a typical high school draftee though. He’s been in the league for six years but has little to show for it thus far.
And one slightly unwelcome quirk to report on Mr. Kinoshita: as he hails from Aichi, he’s been a Chunichi fan since he was a child. He was disappointed when he was drafted by the Fighters rather than his beloved Dragons in 2005, but he eventually was released by Hokkaido and found his way into the Chunichi organization through the 12-team tryouts and an ikusei contract signed at the end of 2010.
He pitched only one inning for the Dragons in 2011 and was cut for the second season in a row.
Hopefully that will have dulled his affinity for his hometown team a bit. At any rate, it looks like he’ll be rejoining his former teammates Itsuki Shoda (Hokkaido 2006) and Keisuke Mizuta (Chunichi 2011), both of whom were signed on the 24th by the Tokyo Swallows.