In fact, Career Low → ‘600 million yen’ signing… 56 home runs’ propelled by ‘700 million dollars’ Ohtani, “My mind to enter ML grows bigger.”

“Munetaka Murakami has signed a contract for the 2024 season,” Japan’s Daily Sports and other local media reported on Wednesday (JST), “for the same 600 million yen ($5.4 billion) plus options as this season.”

Murakami caused quite a stir in Nippon Professional Baseball last year. Drafted by Yakult in the first round of the 2017 Nippon Professional Baseball Draft, Murakami appeared in just six games in his rookie season. The following year, however, he played in 143 games, batting .231 with 118 hits, 36 home runs, and an OPS of .813. Murakami’s power was unquestioned at the start of his career, but he had problems with precision, which he made up for the following year.월카지노

Murakami burst onto the scene in 2020 with 130 hits, 28 home runs, a .307 batting average and a 1.012 OPS in 120 games, and he followed that up with a whopping 39 arches in 143 games in 2021 to claim the Central League’s Home Run King title. He had a “breakout” season last year. Murakami had a “career-high” season with 155 hits, 134 RBIs, 114 runs scored, a .318 batting average and a 1.168 OPS in 141 games, and his 56 home runs broke the Japanese single-season home run record.

Although he did not surpass Vladimir Valentin (formerly of Yakult), his record was enough to earn him a spot on the Japanese team for the World Baseball Classic (WBC). Murakami was in fine form at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, batting .333 with five doubles, one home run and a 1.007 OPS in five games. However, the 56-arched home run king was nowhere to be seen in the WBC. Murakami struggled mightily in the seven games of the WBC, batting just .231.

This poor form carried over into the regular season. Murakami got off to a disastrous start in March and April, batting .157. After signalling a rebound with seven home runs in May, Murakami seemed to come alive with a seven-homer, .312 batting average in July, but then he slumped again and finished the season with 127 hits, 31 home runs, 84 RBIs, 76 runs scored, and a .256 OPS of .875 in 140 games. It wasn’t a bad year, except for the batting average, but it was certainly a disappointment considering the way he blew up the league last year.

If 2019, his first full-time season, was a “career-low,” this was his second worst, but Murakami had signed a mega-deal with Yakult prior to the season, a three-year, 1.8 billion yen ($16.2 million) contract for the 2024 season with the same 600 million yen plus options as this year. According to The Daily Sport, Murakami said, “I had a lot of experiences. It only helped me in my baseball life,” he said, adding that “it’s all my responsibility” for the Yakult’s fifth-place finish and failure to reach the postseason this year.

Speaking to reporters after his contract talks, Murakami set a “triple crown” as his goal for next season. Having become the youngest player to win the Triple Crown last year, he is determined to do it again. He said, “This year was a very emotional season. Next year, I want to go for the triple crown again, and if I can do that, it will lead to the team winning the championship,” he said.

Despite his struggles this year, Murakami’s ultimate goal is to reach the major leagues. Murakami could be eligible for the big leagues as early as the end of the 2025 season through the posting system. If he chooses to follow the path of Shohei Ohtani (Los Angeles Dodgers) and sign an international amateur contract instead, he could reach the big leagues after the 2024 season. Yakult has already caught the eye of major league scouts with his 56 home runs last year, so a strong 2024-2025 season could put him on the map. Yakult is open to Murakami’s challenge.

“I’ve experienced the WBC and played in the United States. I felt like I was getting closer and closer. My desire to reach the major leagues is growing. It’s important for me to have a good performance next year.” Furthermore, the fact that Ohtani recently signed a 10-year, $700 million contract with the Dodgers, the largest contract in the history of professional sports worldwide, certainly added to his motivation. “As a fellow baseball player, it’s great,” Murakami said. It makes my goals even higher.”

With his sights set on the major leagues, Murakami will also be working on his defensive game in the offseason by training with Ryosuke Kikuchi (Hiroshima Toyo Carp), one of the best centre fielders in Nippon Professional Baseball. He said, “I am still clumsy in defence. The only way I can learn from players from other clubs is through self-training. I will try to absorb a lot of things,” he said, adding, “Please look forward to next year.”

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