“Because we didn’t show good performances last year…”
The NC Dinos replaced all foreign players this year. The departure of Eric Peddy, who won the MVP award after winning 20 games and triple crowns (leading the most with multiple earned runs and strikeouts), was an irresistible factor. Major League Baseball teams rushed to Peddy with interest, and eventually signed a contract with the Chicago White Sox (two years and 15 million U.S. dollars), which far exceeded the NC Dinosaurs’ highest salary. Tanner Turley, another foreign pitcher, also chose to leave the team early on. He also did not renew his contract with Jason Martin, a foreign hitter.
Last year, Martin recorded a batting average of 283 with 17 homers and 90 RBIs in 118 games (123 hits in 435 times at bat) with an OPS of .815. As the Triple-A homerun king in the 2022 season, he failed to display remarkable slugging capability. Still, he seemed to be a decent foreign hitter, as he launched mid- to long-range shots while looking at center field. However, there were ups and downs, and negative opinions prevailed among club members regarding renewal of contract. Despite the worst foreign player market, NC Dinosaurs left Martin’s contract as the last resort.
NC needed a first baseman with long-range hitting power. The team wanted to reinforce its position as a first baseman by banking on its long-range hitting power and showing productivity at the lowest level in the league last year. Foreign hitters looking at first baseman had the best plan. It took some time but found the right person. It recruited Matt Davidson, 33, who played in the Japanese pro baseball last year and had experienced Asian baseball, but did not have good results. Coincidentally, Davidson was a player who tied for the Triple-A homerun title in 2022 along with Martin.
Davidson joined the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2009 as the 35th overall pick in the first round of the rookie draft. Since then, he has recorded a career-high season of .2254 homers and 157 RBIs in 306 games in the Major League. 2017-2018 was his career high season. He recorded a batting average of .220 (91 for 414 at-bats) in 118 games in 2017 with 26 homers and 68 RBIs in OPS.711 and a batting average of .228 (99 for 434 at-bats) in 123 games in 2018 with 20 homers and 62 RBIs in OPS.738 since then. He continued his big league career by playing for the Cincinnati Reds, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Oakland Athletics. 꽁머니
Before acquiring Martin last year, the NC Dinosaurs had marked Davidson as a top priority, but signed with Nippon Professional Baseball’s Hiroshima Toyokaf instead of the NC Dinosaurs. Davidson’s challenge to the Japanese league was a dismal failure. He had 19 home runs during 112 games in Hiroshima last year. He was tying for ninth in overall home runs in the Central League. However, other than home runs, he performed worse than expected. He had a batting average of .21 (73 hits in 348 times at bat) with 19 home runs and 44 RBIs, with an OPS of .698. He struck out 120 times and walked only 22.