An up-close and personal look at Nippon-Ham Fighters Sho Nakata

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About two weeks have passed since Japanese professional baseball (NPB) Spring training began. The Last year Champion Hokkaido Nipppn-Ham Fighters worked out at San Diego Padres’s facility in Arizona until 2 weeks, and now they work out in Okinawa, Japan. The practice game was held in February 15, the Fighters played against Samsung Lions of South Korea. Sho Nakata of 2017 WBC Roster played in this game and hit 0 for 3. He was having an off day.

Sho Nakata’s biography is that he’s the age of 27, and he was born at Hiroshima Prefecture. Nakata began playing baseball from 9 years old, and he played baseball at the Osaka Toin High School where Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Takeya Nakamura and Shintaro Fujinami also went. In high school days, Nakata hit 87 home runs in three years so he was drafted by the Fighters in the first round in 2007 npb draft.

Nakata contracted with the Fighters and he was expected a third baseman, his uniform number is 6. But at the rookie year, he got injured and played for a year in a minor league. Next year, he turned to the first baseman and played in the first team first time. In the following year, he turned to the outfielder because of got a chance to participate. Nakata hit a first home run in this year, his stats was 233. average, 9 home runs and 22 RBIs.

In 2011 season, Nakata became a cantral player for the Fighters and played in 143 games. And he became the cleanup batter since 2012 season, his stats was 239. average, 24 home runs and 77 RBIs so he contributed to the Fighters’s league championship. In 2014, His stats was 100 RBIs and and he became a RBI leader first time.

Nakata turned to the first baseman again since 2015 because he was having a bad knee. And in 2016 season, his stats was 250. average, 26 home runs and 110 RBIs so he contributed to the victory of Japan series. Nakata also became a RBI leader again and won the Gold Glove Award of the first baseman two years in a row.

Sho Nakata also convented in the Japan national baseball team of 2013 world baseball classic, and contributed to semi-finalist of Japan team. Then he convented again in the Japan team of 2015 WBSC Premier12, his stats was 429. average, 3 home runs and 15 RBIs so he was chosen as the best nine. Nakata is chosen as a member of 2017 WBC, now he is one of the best hard hitter in Japan team that officially nicknamed Samurai Japan.

In the rookie year, Nakata was famous about having a big mouth. So Let’s introduce some of his remarks at that time.
・My monthly spending is 3,000 dollars (The annual salary at that time was 150,000 dollars so he was rough in money)
・Moveable fatman is the best (At that time he was 103 kg. Now he got muscular but his weight is 98 kg)
Looking back at the time, Nakata told that he was brimming (That was also his appeal). Then after that, he married a high school classmate and and has two daughters. He calmed down quite, when the junior player achieves the target and Nakata gives the prize by his pocket money.

In 2017 off-season, Nakata will be Free Agent. There is no regular first baseman in the Hanshin Tigers, so Nakata is supposed to be transferred to the Tigers that he spent his high school days, Osaka. But he trusts Hideki Kuriyama of the Fighters’s manager very much, Nakata may play in the Fighters while Kuriyama is the manager. Then Nakata seems not interested in Major League Baseball.

This youtube’s video is the game of 2015 WBSC Premier12. Japan played against Dominican republic and came from behind to win the game thanks to Nakata’s clutch hit.

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