It was my course.” “Bravo! …Shinjo’s unexpected aim behind NIHAM’s Kiyomiya’s “Big Mouth” series | FRIDAY DIGITAL

It was my course.” “Bravo! …Shinjo’s unexpected aim behind NIHAM’s Kiyomiya’s “Big Mouth” series

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Kiyomiya shows a spirited expression after his contract renewal, holding a piece of colored paper with “I am the star” written on it (Image: Kyodo News)

Kotaro Kiyomiya, 23, of Nippon Ham, has a “good tongue.

On December 2, he renewed his contract for the next season for 33 million yen, an increase of 16 million yen. He told the press, “I will hit more home runs than anyone else (next season). I want to score more runs and lift my boss (manager Tsuyoshi Shinjo) up in the air,” he vowed to the press.

After the homerun, I’ll say, ‘It was on my course,’ as Ritsu Doyasu, who played in the World Cup, used to say.

When he attended a talk show in Sapporo, Hokkaido, on December 4, he appeared wearing the uniform of the Japanese national soccer team. On the back of the uniform was his name “KOTARO” and his number “21. When he declared, “I want to hit 40 home runs,” he shouted like Yuto Nagatomo, “Bravo~~!


Surprisingly, the number of home runs is on par with the big hitters.

Until now, Kiyomiya has had an image of being a quiet man. His outbursts could be seen as a change of character. What is the reason behind this?

He says, “He says, ‘It’s not ideal,’ but I think he has gained a certain amount of confidence from this season’s results. For the first time since joining the pro ranks, I became a regular at first base, and I was able to stay with the first team for the entire season. Although his batting average is only .219, he has hit a team-leading 18 home runs. In his five years as a pro, he has hit a total of 39 home runs.

He is inferior to his Yakult teammate Munetaka Murakami, who won the Triple Crown with 56 homers this season, because he is so great, but it is not a bad figure by any means. Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, who also started his professional career in high school and played the No. 4 position for Yokohama and the Pirates, hit 44 homers in the same period, while Seibu’s Takeya Nakamura, a six-time homerun champion, hit 33. Kiyomiya, too, still has room to grow. He may grow a lot from next season onward.

Kiyomiya’s big mouth is said to be influenced by Shinjo’s intentions.

He has a good upbringing and a calm personality. Even when he practices hard, he has a laid-back atmosphere. Even when he makes mistakes, you can sometimes see him smiling. He says, “I’m desperate,” but I think he has a relaxed mindset.

I think Shinjo wants him to become a better player and lead the team as the mainstay of the team. He wants him to be serious. For this reason, he dares to say big things to make him take responsibility for his words. I think he wants them to push themselves harder by saying and doing what they mean.

Next season, Nichi-Ham will make a fresh start at a new stadium. Will Kiyomiya be the face of the new team?

The expectations of manager Shinjo are the flip side of his harsh judgment. If he is unable to awaken next season, Kiyomiya may have to make a tough decision. There is a possibility that he will not be considered as a potential player and will be traded to another team. If Nichi-Ham has made a “non-tender” policy of not notifying players of their contracts for the next season, this is not a completely out of the question.

Will Kiyomiya be able to say and do what the big boss expects of him? Will Kiyomiya be able to say and do what the big boss expects of him? Next season, the true value of his big mouth will be tested.

  • Photo Kyodo News

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