Sho Nakata (34) of the Japanese professional baseball Yomiuri Giants is expected to attract attention in the free agent market.
Japanese media ‘AREA.dot’ predicted, 짱구카지노“If Nakata, who becomes a free agent, is looking for an opportunity to play, transferring to another team will be an opportunity.”
This is because Nakata’s position will be narrowed according to Yomiuri’s new coach Shinnosuke Abe’s plan for next season. Manager Abe recently announced plans to use Makoto Kadowaki as a shortstop and Hayato Sakamoto as a third baseman next year. Kazuya Okamoto, who became the home run champion for the third time in his career with 41 home runs this season, moves from third baseman to first baseman. Manager Abe said of Okamoto, “He will go to first base as the main player.”
This season, Okamoto occasionally played as a first baseman, but if he becomes a permanent first baseman next year, Nakata’s playing opportunities are expected to decrease further. Nakada played as a first baseman and pinch hitter this season, but his opportunities to play were reduced compared to last year.
Nakata was placed on indefinite probation for assaulting a teammate during his time at Nippon Ham in 2021, and was later traded to Yomiuri for free. At the time, Coach Hara reached out to Nakata to allow him to continue his career.
Nakata, who had a sluggish batting average of .100 after transferring to Nippon Ham and Yomiuri in 2021, succeeded in making a comeback in the 2022 season with a batting average of .269 li (91 hits in 338 at-bats), 24 home runs, 68 RBI, and an OPS of .833. He batted .200 5-5 (67-for-263) with 15 home runs and 37 RBI this year, with an OPS of .769. Last May, he reached his 300th home run in his career.
He still showed his slugging ability. He made his professional debut with Nippon Ham in 2009 and played 16 seasons, posting a career batting average of .205 with 303 home runs and 1,062 RBI. However, his business trip opportunities gradually decreased.
The media reported that Yakult, Yokohama, Seibu, and Chiba Lotte are interested in Nakata, who is becoming a free agent. It is said that Nakata values an environment where he can play as a starter (as a first baseman) and prioritizes staying with his family.
The Pacific League has a designated hitter system, so it is expected to be more advantageous for Nakada. Polanco, who played for Yomiuri last year, signed a contract with Chiba Lotte this year and was tied for the home run title in the Pacific League. Ishikawa was traded from Yomiuri to Chiba Lotte midway through this season, and performed well with a batting average of .304.8.
The media said, “Chiba Lotte has a weak batting lineup. “If Nakata joins, the strength of the central batting line will be strengthened,” he predicted.