NIHAM’s Kiyomiya has No Hits in 32 at bats and Dropped Balls — Will NIHAM Let Him Go Next Season? | FRIDAY DIGITAL

NIHAM’s Kiyomiya has No Hits in 32 at bats and Dropped Balls — Will NIHAM Let Him Go Next Season?

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Kotaro Kiyomiya, 23, of the Nippon Ham baseball team, has nothing good to say about himself at all and ending the Month in poor performance.

In a game against the Orix on August 24, he misjudged a ball and dropped it on a harmless fly ball in the foul zone. On the 28th, against Softbank, he dropped out of the lineup for the first time in nine games after striking out twice the previous day.

Tsuyoshi Shinjo, the manager, was also dismayed by Kiyomiya’s ineptitude: “He’s been out there since he was a little kid, and it’s not like it’s gotten harder since he joined the pro ranks. When he was not a starter on the 28th, he said, “Two missed strikeouts kills the momentum on the bench. I don’t want him to miss out on that kind of thing.”

This season, Kiyomiya hit double-digit home runs for the first time and was selected to play the fourth position. However, he suddenly slowed down toward the end of the season. If his poor performance continues, he may be demoted to the second team.

Manager Shinjo’s Change of Policy

Manager Shinjo is trying to develop Kiyomiya into the mainstay of the team. Before the season, he ordered him to lose weight, saying, ‘Isn’t he a little fat?. After having him lose the unwanted weight, he ordered him to increase his muscular strength as the next step. I think he wants to improve his power efficiently.

He was used as a cleanup hitter at the beginning of the season, but since the middle of the season, he has often been used as the No. 1 hitter. What is required of the leadoff man is a high on-base percentage. Low baserunning accuracy is a shortcoming of Kiyomiya’s. He is not a reliable baserunner. I think they want Kiyomiya to gain experience in the strike zone so that he can flub pitches to center and take them in the opposite direction even if he is not good at it.

“However, recent statements by Shinjo seem to indicate that he has changed his policy from nurturing young players, including Kiyomiya, to acquiring players who can compete immediately. Regarding Shogo Asano of the Takamatsu Shoji baseball team, who played well at Koshien, he said, “He will be an immediate starter. I would like to be proactive and ask them to give it a try,” he said.

Even if I coach him enthusiastically, I tend to throw saddles at Kiyomiya when he doesn’t produce any results.  At first base, Kiyomiya’s main position, I hear that there are plans to acquire a new foreign player. If that happens, there is no place for Kiyomiya. It would not be surprising if he becomes a trade candidate.

“Kiyomiya may have been raised in a good family, but his atmosphere is calm. He says with his mouth, ‘I am desperate,’ but I get the impression that he has little sense of crisis. Once he falls into a slump, it is difficult for him to find a chance to rise to the top. Shinjo must be feeling a sense of inadequacy. He often complains, ‘I’m not like him,7 or 7I need him to be more aggressive,7 as one of the reporters in charge of sports newspapers put it.

(Sports newspaper reporter) “The commanding officer will not wait forever for results to come in. Kiyomiya is facing a critical moment now”

  • Photo Kyodo News

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