“It’s a similar situation to Hideki Matsui.”
Kazuma Okamoto, who started his professional life after being nominated by the Yomiuri Giants in the first round of the 2014 rookie draft, played in 143 games in the 2018 season, hitting 33 home runs and 100 RBIs with a batting average of 0.309 OPS. He started to wake up with an active 0.935, and succeeded in establishing himself as a player representing Yomiuri and Japanese professional baseball by hitting 30 home runs for five consecutive years until last year.
Okamoto recorded 131 hits, 30 home runs, 82 RBIs, 63 runs,메이저사이트 and a batting average of 0.252 OPS of 0.805 in 140 games last year, showing off a little bit of sophistication. done. And he appeared in 7 games in the WBC and made his name known to the world by wielding a fire bat with 2 home runs, 7 RBIs, a batting average of 0.333 OPS and 1.278.
Okamoto’s performance has not changed this year. Yomiuri is at the bottom of the Central League, but it is struggling alone with 22 hits, 1 home run batting average of 0.338 OPS 0.823 in 17 games. However, rumors about Okamoto, who has grown into Yomiuri’s ‘signboard hitter’, have recently entered the major leagues.
Of course, it is true that he has good hitting and defensive abilities to step on the major league stage. However, the Japanese magazine ‘Daily Shinjo’ insists that other external factors affect Okamoto’s state of mind rather than his skills. The ‘Daily Creed’ is “
‘Daily Shinzo’ quoted a Yomiuri official who said, “Okamoto expressed his feelings of resentment when he recorded a big hit. It seems that Okamoto’s experience of leading the team by leading the team has changed Okamoto’s view of baseball. Everything is concentrated in Okamoto’s words, ‘Baseball was so fun’.”
A Yomiuri official continued, “At the same time, Yomiuri is concerned. The current Yomiuri baseball game is not fun and even feels blocked. Okamoto had previously had an intention to advance to the major leagues. Through the WBC, he will be unable to control his thoughts. , I think it will be a matter of time to request a transfer through the posting system.”
Okamoto proved his worth at the WBC. Although he clearly excelled at hitting, he proved that he could handle third base as well as first base and the outfield. Okamoto is an excellent defensive player who won the Golden Glove in the Central League third baseman category for two consecutive years until last year.
Okamoto will be 31 years old after the 2027 season, qualifying as a free agent (FA) to advance to the major leagues. Therefore, it is highly likely that he will aim to advance to the major leagues through the posting system. And in the background, his performance in the WBC, as well as the current situation in Yomiuri, is the claim of ‘Daily Creed’.
‘Daily Shinjo’ said, “Okamoto had no relationship with the Japanese national team, such as being unable to be summoned to the Tokyo Olympics where Japan won the gold medal. Then, as he won the WBC championship, his will for the major leagues was revived. And when he returned to Yomiuri from the WBC, the club Coach Hara, who held the full power of the team, was waiting for self-righteous leadership,” he said. “The team ranked at the bottom with 5 wins and 10 losses (as of the 17th) in the opening 15 games. There is a grant,” he explained.
According to the media, an official from Yomiuri said, “Hideki Matsui’s transfer to the major leagues also had a factor of discomfort, such as Kazuhiro Kiyohara, who had a different view of baseball, creating a faction. This overlaps. Okamoto thinks it will be difficult to stay if he applies for a post transfer unless Yoshinobu Takahashi, the coach he raised as No. 4, returns.”
Okamoto will complete his seventh full-time season at the end of this season. In other words, he will be able to apply for posting during the off-season this year. It remains to be seen whether Okamoto will be able to step onto the major league stage based on his good momentum at the WBC.