The "real" five tool player in NPB will renew his career high stats in end of the season if he can keep these top form with surging team. His sensation will also attract attentions by MLB scouts.
Yoshio Itoi, 32 years old OF of Orix, pull the team on their lineup No.3 or 4 this season. They just hit midpoint of the season, 72th games, and Itoi has kept highest stats of the league; .351 BA, 94 hits, 22 double, 145 TB, 22 SB, and .541 SLG.
And If he can keep his top condition, most of his batting stats will notch highest one. These numbers will be like that; 188 hits, 44 double, 18 HR, 290 TB, 88 RBI, 44 SB, .351/.417/.541. He will also put his shelf some batting titles trophy. The leading hitter, most hits in a season, and stolen base king. And more, he may be praised as MVP of the league if the team keep the top place of the league until the end of season.
These shining topics will not be ignored by MLB scouts who values Japanese outfielders. So he has already showed strong arm and wide range of outfield (mostly RF, but placed on CF before), batting prestige will let MLB scouts add more detail comments for documents.
He has silinced about adoration for MLB in this season, and the team has policy that they will not permit posting. But as Masahiro Tanaka, the championship of Nippon Series or Climax Series may let him post. Anyway, we should not bear watchig for him.
This 2014 year will be 2nd season for him as a batter, and it also will be 8th year for him as a professional baseball player. This year may be his turning point for him on his baseball career.
Fumikazu Kimura, former No.1 drafted player, finished his preseason games with good lines; 15 games, 42 AB, 13 hits, 1 double, 2 triples, 1 HR, 5 RBIs, 5 SB, .500 SLG, .431 OBP, and .310 BA. This .310 is 10th on all players in preseason.
Any way, can you believe that this stats were created by a player who had been pitcher until 2 years ago?
He drafted in 2006 as a No.1 player in the Saitama Seibu. His fastball notched 152km/h (95mph), and appeared 2 1games in 2011. But his command couldn't be better, and couldn't get any chance as a pitcher by injuries. These elements and his great slugger sense made him convert from the mound to the plate.
His massive training as a batter connected the result soon. In 5/13/2013, he smashed two out-of-the-park homer from Shohei Otani on a farm game. And he also marked first career homerun at Yokohama in 5/28/2013.
The spark couldn't continue until the end of season in 2013, but it will be about to fascinate baseball fans in 2014.
He just has left 18 wins for 200 wins club, but 41 years old right-hander will be part of reliever this year.
As the Saitama Seibu's new manager, Haruki Ihara, revealed his plan in spring training, former an ace of the team pitched 3/6 and 3/8 as a reliever. And he threws 1 IP in 3/11; 22 pitches, 4 AB, 1 H, 1 SO, 0 BB, and 0 R/ER.
Fumiya Nishiguchi, Saitama Seibu's veteran RHP, had competed the rotation spot until las year. 7 years (from 1996 to 2002) consecutive double digit wins achiever. He riveved in 2011 after struggled years by 11 wins include first shutout game since 2005.