Demoted to the second team with a batting average in the 0% range…Special team situation with the battered Despaigne “Emergency rejoining forced by SoftBank. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Demoted to the second team with a batting average in the 0% range…Special team situation with the battered Despaigne “Emergency rejoining forced by SoftBank.

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The cannon who won the double crown for home runs and runs batted in in ’17 has been sorely missed this season (PHOTO: Kyodo News)

He has 42 hits, a .071 batting average, a home run and a run batted in (……).

In a game against Rakuten on September 20, he injured his left foot while running across first base after hitting a ground ball to third base. He had 35 hits and no walks through the middle of the game, and was demoted to the second team the next day.

In June, Softbank made an emergency acquisition of him as the No. 5 hitter behind Yuki Yanagita and Kensuke Kondo in left. When the lid was opened, the result was a shambles. From the beginning, there were concerns about Despaigne’s rejoining the club after he was released from free agency last offseason due to his age (he will turn 37 this season).

However, Despaigne is a cannon who hit 184 home runs in his nine years in Japan. He knows Japanese baseball well, so even though he may not be able to play as well as he did in his prime, it was hoped that he would be able to produce the same results as last season (.269 batting average and 14 home runs), and he rejoined the team. His cheerful character was also thought to be a good bench builder,” said a source close to the team.

Both the new foreigner and the youngster: ……

As mentioned above, expectations were quickly betrayed. It seems that behind the decision to acquire Despaigne was the team’s inability to turn their backs on the situation.

The team’s main right axis candidate has not been able to produce any results. New foreigners Astudillo and Hawkins both have low batting averages and show no signs of improvement, and Galvis, a two-hitter entering his second year, is batting in the 10% range with no home runs.

Turning to the younger players, many of them are also struggling. 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 ability to be the mainstay of the team. As a result, Despaigne, who was a free agent last season, was given the opportunity.

The growth of young players also has a special background.

SoftBank’s strength was its ability to nurture and develop young players, such as Kota Senga and Takuya Kai, who are now active in the major leagues. On the other hand, Softbank created the 4th team this season. Currently, there are more than 100 players in the 3rd and 4th teams.

In the past, the players on the farm had a strong desire to make it to the first team. However, recently, perhaps because the number of players has increased, I don’t feel the same strong desire to move up as before from the players. Perhaps the competitive power of the young players is declining due to the influence of the larger organization that is training them.

Foreigners are disappointing and young players are not growing. …….’ The evergreen Hawks, who won the league championship five times in the 10 years through 2008, have also suffered this season, losing 12 straight games in the summer. It seems that the time has come for the team to turn over a new leaf.

  • PHOTO Kyodo News

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