While there are few triple-hitters, foreigners are even rarer.
As of April 18, there are eight players in Nippon Professional Baseball with a triple-digit batting average, five in the Central League and three in the Pacific League. In the Central League, Toshirō Miyazaki (Yokohama BayStars), Ryosuke Nishikawa (Hiroshima Carp), Yuki Okabayashi (Junichi Dragons), Domingo Santana (Yakult Swallows), and Takumu Nakano (Hanshin Tigers) are the only players in the Central League to maintain a .300 average.바카라사이트
In the Pacific League, Yuma Tongu (Oryx Buffaloes), Yuki Yanagita, and Gensuke Kondo (SoftBank Hawks) are over the 3-percent mark.
Miyazaki, who was shooting 4-for-4 midway through the first half, has dropped to 3-for-3, which still leads both leagues. The Yomiuri Giants are the only team in the Central League without a triple-digit hitter. Kazuma Okamoto, who bats fourth and leads the league in home runs, is sixth at 2.988.
Pacific League with good mounds. Four teams – the Nippon Ham Fighters, Rakuten Eagles, Seibu Lions, and Chiba Lotte Marines – do not have a No. 3 hitter. This is largely due to the contributing hitters.
Chiba Lotte is led by Hisanori Yasuda at 2 for 5, while Seibu is led by Shuta Donosaki at 2 for 5 and 9.
Munetaka Murakami (Yakult), who led the Central League in batting average, home runs, and RBIs last year, is a force to be reckoned with.
Yakult sluggers Santana (left) and Murakami. Photo source=Yakult Swallows SNS
He’s fallen off a cliff. He’s batting 3-for-3 since July, but his season batting average is still 2-for-6. He ranks 20th in pull-ups. That’s down more than five points from last year’s 3.01.
Ko Matsumoto (Nihon Ham), the 2022 Pacific League batting champion, is 2-for-6 this year after going 3-for-7 last year. That’s second on the team and seventh in the league.
Last season, the team had a total of six hitters in the top 10. There were no foreign batters in the top 10 in either league.
The lack of foreign hitters is noticeable. Santana is the only foreign hitter in the top 20 in the Central League, and David McKinnon (Seibu) is the only foreign hitter in the Pacific League. Santana is 3-for-6 and McKinnon is 2-for-5.
Santana, who joined the Yakult in 2021, is looking for his first triple-double in his third year. He has 12 home runs and 46 RBIs.
McKinnon, who joined Seibu last winter, is tops on the team with 12 home runs. Seibu is last in batting average among the 12 teams in Nippon Professional Baseball. 2-for-3.
The first reason for the weakness of foreign hitters is a strong mound. A few years ago, foreign hitters were a staple in the center field lineup, but their numbers have dropped significantly.
Seibu infielder McKinnon. He is the only foreign hitter in the top 20 in the Pacific League in batting average. Photo credit: Seibu Lions SNS
For a long time, Japanese pitchers have been known for their precise delivery and excellent changeup, but in recent years, their velocity has improved. Most of the top pitchers throw fastballs in the mid-to-high 150 kilometers per hour and use offspeed pitches such as forkballs.
Japanese media explain that it has become more difficult for foreign hitters to adjust to Japanese pitchers from the first year. The level of the league is higher and the power is stronger than before.
It is also difficult to actively recruit competitive players. Hitters who are still bouncing back and forth between the minor and major leagues, or who have been playing primarily in the minor leagues, are choosing to come to Japan. There’s also the effect of higher player salaries.
Meanwhile, in the KBO, two foreign hitters, Guillermo Heredia (SSG Landers) and Austin Dean (LG Twins), are among the top 10 hitters in the league. Heredia is second with a 3-for-3 record, while Austin is eighth with a 3-for-1 record.
Miyazaki leads Nippon Professional Baseball in batting average in both leagues. Photo credit: Yokohama BayStars SNS