New foreigners hit zero home runs, and youngsters such as Richard are sluggish… Special circumstances of Softbank’s “Emergency acquisition of free-agent Despaigne”. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

New foreigners hit zero home runs, and youngsters such as Richard are sluggish… Special circumstances of Softbank’s “Emergency acquisition of free-agent Despaigne”.

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Despaigne currently plays in the league in his native Cuba (PHOTO: CTK Photo/Afro)

The No. 4 hitter is a hard-throwing right-hander.

Softbank manager Hiroshi Fujimoto has always said this. The Hawks have many good left-handed hitters, including Yuki Yanagita, Akira Nakamura, Kensuke Kondo, and Ryoya Kurihara. Manager Fujimoto probably thought that by playing his main gun in right field, he could take advantage of the characteristics of a lineup with many left-handed hitters. However, …….

The right-hander, who is a candidate for the No. 4 position, has not been able to produce the expected results in any of the positions. New foreigners Astudillo and Hawkins have both been in the second team with zero home runs in the first team (results as of June 6, 2012). SoftBank is the only one of the 12 teams without a home run by a new foreigner, and Galvis, a two-hitter entering his second year, is also batting in the .100 range and has not hit a home run.

Turning to the younger players, many of them have been sluggish.’ Richard Sunagawa, who hit seven homers in 2009, Tomoya Masaki, the second overall pick in last year’s draft from Keio University, and Hiroki Nomura, who hit 68 homers in high school (Waseda Jitsugyo), all lack the power to play the No. 4 role.

He is a man who can’t give up anything.

He will turn 37 in June this year, and his decline is not hidden.

SoftBank’s team batting average of .242 ranks second in the league, but their team home run average of 30 is the lowest in the league. The team’s lack of long-ball hitting power is undeniable. However, as we enter the middle of the season, they cannot afford to scout for a new foreigner from scratch. The one who surfaced was Despaigne, who had been a member of SoftBank until last season.

Despaigne is a cannonballer who hit 184 home runs in his nine years of professional baseball in Japan. However, taking into account his age (he will turn 37 this June), SoftBank decided to acquire a new foreigner as a free agent. However, with no right-handed slugger available, they could not turn their backs on him. It is likely that he will be re-signed by bowing to Despaigne.

Despaigne is currently playing in the league in his native Cuba. Last season, he hit 14 homers and drove in 40 runs in 89 games, and there is no doubt that he is past his peak compared to his heyday in 2005, when he won two titles with 35 homers and 103 runs.

He is certainly not expected to do as well as he did in his prime. However, he knows Japanese professional baseball well, so I think he will be able to produce the same kind of results (double-digit home runs) as last season.

Despaigne made fans happy in his hero interview by saying, “Despaigne, I like it! in his hero interview to the delight of the fans. His teammates tease him and love him. I think he can also function well as a bench booster.

Can the former two-time champion from Cuba help his old team out of a tight spot?

At SoftBank, he was often used as a designated hitter.
He is well-liked by fans for his charming character.
  • PHOTO CTK Photo/Afro AP/Afro

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