Nakata’s batting average in the 10% range despite his surprise move to the Giants… The reason for his poor performance | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Nakata’s batting average in the 10% range despite his surprise move to the Giants… The reason for his poor performance

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Nakata has been hitting mediocre pitches since joining the Giants, and a demotion to the second team is becoming a reality (Image: Kyodo News)

“Can I have a word?

Before the game against Hanshin on September 3, Giants manager Tatsunori Hara called out to Sho Nakata (32) in the hitting cage. Holding a knock-bat in his hand, he instructed him on hitting with gestures. Later, Nakata also received advice from Takuro Ishii, the general fielding coach.

It had been about three weeks since the announcement of his sudden transfer from Nippon Ham on August 20. As of September 6, he had only 5 hits in 39 at bats. As of September 6, he had only 5 hits in 39 at bats, and his batting average was a sluggish .156. He was initially assigned the No. 5 spot, but was removed from the starting lineup on September 5 against Hanshin.

“The Giants acquired Nakata for free after his assault at Nippon Ham. He has won the batting title three times and hit 31 home runs last year, the most in his career. He has enough power to be the mainstay of the Giants. Manager Hara has long been advocating a “no-holds-barred trade” in order to revamp the team’s quiet atmosphere. He probably thought that Nakata, with his rambunctious personality, could revitalize the Giants.

However, the results were not good. His strikeout rate exceeded 30%. He has become a drag on a team that is battling for the top spot. Manager Hara, who acquired Nakata based on his own judgment, must be concerned about Nakata’s poor performance. Recently, he has been coaching him directly. He is a strict manager who severely removes players who don’t produce results from the starting lineup, so if he can’t get out of his slump, he may well drop Nakata to the second team.

“From “master of the mountain” to “outsider

The small size of the Tokyo Dome allows for the mass production of home runs. If you are in the Central League, where there are few power pitchers, you can take advantage of it. …… The sports papers were optimistic about Nakata’s success when he first joined the team. However, it seems that the reality is not so easy.

I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to do it,” he said. They are trying to hold off Nakata, who was the No. 4 pitcher for many years at Nippon Ham, by hitting him on the inside. Nakata should have adapted his batting style to the situation, such as hitting right-handed with a breaking ball. The problem is not just his hitting style.

The problem is not only his hitting style. The problem is not only with his hitting style, but also with his position on the team, which seems to be affecting his poor performance.

“When he was with Nippon Ham, he was the oldest fielder on the team, except for Shinya Tsuruoka, who is 40 and also a coach. Nakata was the oldest fielder in the Nippon-Ham team, except for Shinya Tsuruoka, who is 40 and also serves as coach. The team revolved around Nakata, and he was, to put it badly, the “overlord of the mountain.

At the Giants, selfishness is not acceptable. There are a lot of older players like Hiroyuki Nakajima and Hayato Sakamoto, and players in the same age group like Yoshihiro Maru and Tomoyuki Kanno. The environment has changed completely, and I’m sure they are at a loss. I’m just an outsider. I can’t do things freely as I have done in the past.

The type of manager is also different from the one he had when he was with Nippon Ham.

“Hideki Kuriyama, the manager of Nippon Ham, was very careful not to lower the motivation of Nakata, his core player. He was relatively gentle and tried to understand him. Manager Hara was different. If he judged a player to be “useless,” he would relegate him to the second team without mercy, no matter how good he was in the past.

Daisuke Motoki, the head coach, is also strict. He would say, “Do you have a problem with that? Don’t mess with me! He would harshly criticize players who made mistakes. During his time at Nippon Ham, Nakata was called “the general” and had a dynamic image, but in fact, he was sensitive and vulnerable. He is very concerned about what others think of him. I hope he doesn’t shrivel up when he is reprimanded harshly. ……

Nakata was involved in a violent incident and at one point was rumored to be retiring. If he doesn’t produce results with the Giants, who took him on, he will have no other opportunities to play. There is no excuse for the change in environment. Nakata is a professional. I wonder how he will overcome this predicament.

  • Photo Kyodo News

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