Okoye, who has a low reputation for having “uneven feelings” and “not thinking clearly”… Rakuten Okoye, an active draft possibility: “Surprising teams moving to acquire him”. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Okoye, who has a low reputation for having “uneven feelings” and “not thinking clearly”… Rakuten Okoye, an active draft possibility: “Surprising teams moving to acquire him”.

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Okoye often surprises people with his eccentric hairstyles, words and actions (Image: Jiji Press)

Barely” is probably not the right word.

On November 25, Rui Okoye, 25, signed a contract with Rakuten for the next season. He has appeared in only six games for the first team this season. With a .200 batting average, zero home runs, and one stolen base, he could have been ruled out of the rotation.

Okoye, who was drafted first overall by Rakuten, will be in his eighth year with the team next season. He has yet to have a season in which he has been able to play to his full potential. The biggest reason for his lack of success is Okoye himself.

He has an uneven mindset. Every year he says to himself, “I’m growing too well,” but when he receives attention from the coaches and manager, he becomes frustrated. Even though he trains hard during the allotted practice time, he rarely stays for detention, and then leaves. He must have a dry mind,” said a baseball team official.

The leadership must be aware of Okoye’s personality. Manager Kazuhisa Ishii complained immediately after Okoye’s contract renewal at the end of 2008: “He thinks too much.

He is not thinking straight. 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.

Speculation about his undisclosed salary

Nevertheless, everyone agrees that Okoye has great physical ability. Some say that he could awaken if he changes his environment: the “active draft” (each team nominates two or more players and acquires one from another team; the draft is held on December 9) will take place. The draft is a process in which a team selects two or more candidates and takes one player from another team.

The “active draft” is also an opportunity to give a chance to a player who has ability but is struggling to grow. Rakuten’s outfielders include Hiroaki Shimauchi, Haruki Nishikawa, and Ryosuke Tatsumi. Furthermore, with the addition of Hisaki Abe, another right-handed hitter, from Chunichi, Okoye is losing his value. If he stays with Rakuten, it will be difficult for him to get a chance to play. It is not surprising that he is a candidate for the “active draft.

Rakuten did not disclose his annual salary in his contract for the next season, as he wished to do so. Sports reports speculate that it is around 8.5 million yen. Based on his performance this season, this is a high amount. Perhaps he is trying to show other teams how much he is valued in the “active draft. It is also unnatural that there were no interviews. It is thought that the team thought it would be too much for him to be asked questions by the press about his enthusiasm for the upcoming season while he was a candidate for the “active draft.

If he is a candidate for the “active draft,” are there any teams that would be interested in acquiring him? A surprising team is rumored to be in the running.

It is Nippon Ham, led by the “Big Boss. 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. NIHAM will move to a new stadium next season, and the atmosphere will be completely renewed. Fortunately, Nichi-Ham’s outfielders are not that deep, so Okoye will have a chance to win a regular spot.

It is clear that there is no end in sight for Okoye. Finding a new place to play may be a viable option.

  • Photo: Jiji Press Jiji Press

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