Hiroyuki Nakajima Off to a Good Start for Oakland Athletics
Spring Training games don’t count really. Everyone knows that. Still, it is a good thing when a player does good things and if a player screws something up it still isn’t good. So, in a way it does count, they just get kind of a month’s worth of do-over time for all the not great stuff they do. In the spirit of the good things players are doing, Hiroyuki Nakajima made his unofficial debut for the Oakland Athletics on Saturday.
You can say it didn’t really matter but it did to him and you bet his coaches noticed as well. He said that the atmosphere really pumped him up. Apparently it pumped him up enough for him and Jemile Weeks to take part in a highlight-reel quality double play early in the game. Also, he swung the bat well. It begs the question of how good this guy is going to be during the games that really count in April.
I realize that stats from another league, including minor leagues, don’t really have a huge bearing on what a player can do in Major League Baseball. Still there is one stat line that does seem to matter at least when you talk about players coming from one of the Asian leagues over to MLB. That would be batting average. It’s hard to say that average doesn’t matter no matter what league you are in. From what can be easily seen, Nakajima has a career average of .310 and is usually higher than that. There are no bad signs there.
One other tidbit about Nakajima going forward this spring is that he might be one of the most popular guys in the clubhouse at least for a few players. The Athletics have a giant handful of players trying for the second base spot. Nakajima might be someone that those guys really want to get to know well if it means they will look better and work out better defensively with him. It appears that he will be the real deal in the majors and he should help the Athletics this year.
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