Sho Nakata (Yomiuri Giants), whose retirement was threatened by an assault case, has reached 300 career home runs.
Nakata hit the home run as a pinch-hitter in the Giants’ 6-3 win over the Hiroshima Toyo Carp at Matsuda Stadium in Hiroshima, Japan, on April 6.
Pinch-hitting with runners on second and third in the eighth inning, Nakata drew a four-pitch, 146-kilometer high fastball on a two-pitch, one-strike at-bat for a three-run home run over the left field fence.
It was his 12th home run of the season and the 300th of his career. Nakata became the 45th player in Nippon Professional Baseball history to reach 300 home runs.
Nakata joined Nippon Ham with the first overall pick in the 2007 draft. He spent his rookie year in 2008 playing only in the second team and hit his first professional home run on July 20, 2010, against Chiba Lotte in his third year as a professional.
After hitting nine home runs in 2010, Nakata hit double-digit home runs for 10 consecutive years, starting with 18 in 2011 and ending with 31 in 2020. Nakata hit 254 home runs for Nippon Ham and 46 home runs in a Yomiuri uniform. While he never won the home run title, he did win the RBI title in 2014.
Nakata’s baseball career took a turn for the worse in 2021 at Nihon Ham. In the middle of the season, in August, he assaulted a junior pitcher on the team. The organization was devastated, and Nakata was suspended indefinitely from the 1-2 team. He was no longer eligible to play for Nihon Ham, and was expected to be released after the season.
With his career in jeopardy, head coach Yomiuri Hara reached out to Nakata. Nippon Ham traded Nakata to Yomiuri for free, and Yomiuri gave Nakata a new chance.
After batting just 1-for-9 with Nippon Ham in 2021, Nakata continued to struggle after joining Yomiuri, finishing the season with a 1-for-10 batting average. With just seven home runs, he failed to reach double-digit home runs for the 11th straight year.
Nakata re-signed with Yomiuri after the season for 150 million yen ($1.4 billion), a 190 million yen ($1.7 billion) cut from his 340 million yen ($3.1 billion) salary. In 2022, Nakata bounced back, batting .266 with 24 home runs and 69 RBIs in 109 games.바카라사이트
He signed for 300 million yen (approximately 2.7 billion won) this season and started the season with a .340 average. However, he suffered a thigh injury in May, and his bat hasn’t been the same since his return. Before the injury, he was batting .321, but after his return, he was batting in the low double digits. Recently, he has been playing mostly as a pinch-hitter.