Reds hope search for leadoff hitter ends with Shogo Akiyama

The Cincinnati Reds hope their long-running search for a consistent leadoff hitter comes to an end with Shogo Akiyama.

The first Japanese-born player in franchise history signed a three-year, $21 million deal during the offseason and is part of the team’s extensive overhaul. Mike Moustakas, Nick Castellanos, Wade Miley and Pedro Strop were also added to end a streak of six straight losing seasons.

But it’s the 32-year-old Akiyama who might be the most intriguing. He was a consistent star for the Seibu Lions in Nippon Professional Baseball over the past five seasons, hitting over .300 four times while flashing consistent power and providing stellar defense.

If he can do something similar in Cincinnati, the Reds will be thrilled.

“There’s only 60 games and obviously the goal is to make the playoffs,” Akiyama said through an interpreter. “My personal goal is to play in every game so I just want to compete in every single game I play. That’s what I want to bring.”

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Source : Baseball – The Japan Times

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