Will the Japanese professional baseball Hanshin Tigers be able to benefit from foreign batters next season?
On the 15th, the Hanshin Tigers recruited Dominican Republic outfielder Johan Mieses (27) as a new foreign hitter. Hanshin parted ways with Mel Rojas Jr., former MVP of the KBO League, and brought in a new big hitter for 500,000 dollars (about 600 million won) a year.
Mieses, who is 185cm-120kg tall, only played 9 seasons in the minor leagues. His career record is 793 games batting average 2.4 3 Lee 140 home runs 427 RBI OPS .775, and this year in Triple-A under the Boston Red Sox he batted 2.7 1 Lee 12 home runs 35 RBI OPS .924 in 60 games. Limited to Triple-A, he batted 2.5s, 26 homers, 78 RBIs, and an OPS of .845 in 141 games over three seasons. No major league experience.
Domestic fans are familiar with him as a player who hit a home run in the bronze medal match against Korea at the Tokyo Olympics held last year. Mieses, then the fifth hitter for the Dominican Republic, hit a two-run home run against Oh Seung-hwan in the eighth inning, leading the team to win the bronze medal.
Why did Hanshin recruit a hitter without major league experience? Japan’s ‘Nikkan Gendai’ quoted an analysis by a major league expert and said, “In the past, there were a lot of strikeouts, but recently, as walks increased, the on-base rate went up. Regardless of the pitcher, the triple-A scoring batting average this season reached 3.16. Even if he went to the major leagues, it is not a strange result.” Mieses’ weakness was his 120kg weight and low fielding ratio. 메이저놀이터
However, in Japan, the view is that it can work well enough. “His power at the plate is above average in the majors,” Nikkan Gendai said. Timing is key, but I think I can cope with Japanese pitchers. If you get used to the league, you will be able to hit 20 homers in the spacious Koshien Stadium.”
Hanshin signed a two-year contract with Lohas, the KBO League MVP winner, ahead of the 2021 season, but it was sluggish with a batting average of 2.2%, 17 homers, 48 RBIs, and OPS .697 in 149 games in two seasons. Attention is focusing on whether Mieses will be able to end Hanshin’s brutality against foreign batters next season.