First first team of the season, but demoted in two weeks…Rakuten Okoye: “Rumored Unexpected Transfer Destination”.
He was demoted after only about two weeks.
On August 19, Rakuten’s Rui Okoye (25) was promoted to the first team for the first time this season. On September 1, he was removed from the roster. On September 1, he was struck from the roster.
In the second team, I’m batting over .320 and my on-base percentage is over .400, but against first-team pitching, it’s hard to get results. But against first-round pitchers, it’s hard for him to make a mark. I think the reason is Okoye himself. He seems to be somewhat lenient. He reflects on his mistakes immediately after making them, but after a while he seems to have forgotten about them and is just playing coy. Even though he trains hard during the allotted time, he does not practice detention. He rarely practices in detention.
While his grades have been lackluster, he stands out in other aspects of his life outside of baseball. He has made headlines for buying a luxury car that costs more than his annual salary; in 2005, he bought a BMW I8, a sports car type, which costs about 20 million yen. The following year, he bought a 15 million yen Maserati Levante SUV. When asked by the press who his target athlete was, he replied, ‘Usain Bolt, the world record holder in track and field,’ which was cheerful, but it gave the impression that he was being frivolous,” said a baseball team official.
Okoye’s lack of confidence has long been a source of concern for the team’s leadership. GM and manager Kazuhisa Ishii complained immediately after Okoye’s contract renewal at the end of 2008.
If he doesn’t come out soon, his own baseball career will suffer. This is the critical point. I feel that his self-esteem is a little high. He needs to peel off his skin. We can’t just give him a chance and say, ‘Here you go.
The Active Draft as a Point of Reference
On the other hand, his physical ability is well recognized by everyone. He has a strong shoulder with a long throw of 120 meters, eyesight of over 2.0, a 50-meter run of 5.96 seconds, and a swing speed of 157 km……. Some have expressed sympathy for Okoye, saying, “Okoye has some unlucky moments.”
In Rakuten, Okoye’s main outfielders are ironclad. Hiroaki Shimauchi, Goro Okajima, Daisho Komada, Kazuki Tanaka, Ryosuke Tatsumi, who has returned from a new coronavirus infection, and Haruki Nishikawa, who was transferred from Nippon Ham. It is hard to take advantage of them. Okoye’s physical ability is outstanding, so if he is patient and continues to be used, there is a possibility that he will grow, but there is no room for that.
(A reporter in charge of sports paper) There is an opinion that Okoye should change his environment in order to make the most of his abilities. One of the rumored destinations for Okoye is a surprising team.
The rumored destination is Nichi-Ham, led by the “Big Boss. Manager Tsuyoshi Shinjo likes players with high physical ability. He himself was an outfielder with good feet and a strong shoulder during his playing days. He and Okoye are similar in type. Fortunately, Nichi-Ham’s outfielders are not that deep, so Okoye will have a chance to win a regular spot.
In addition, an active draft is set to take place this offseason, in which 12 teams will submit a list of at least two players to be selected, and at least one of them will be transferred to another team. Okoye, who has the ability but has not had much success at Rakuten, is likely to be on the list.
Okoye, who was a star of Kanto I High School (Tokyo) and took the Koshien Stadium by storm, is now in his seventh year as a pro. He is now seven years into his professional career, and seeking a new place to play may be an option.
Photo： Kyodo News