No longer a zoo monkey. He is now the team’s centerpiece batsman.
People who were skeptical for a while are now starting to believe in him. He’s not just a tall giant, he’s a real giant.
This is the story of Akihiro Yuto (21), the tallest player in Nippon Professional Baseball at 6’2″.
Akihiro, a 2.2 meter giant, is finally getting noticed for his skills. Photo from the Yomiuri Giants website
When Akihiro joined the Giants, he attracted attention for his height.
He became known for being a head taller than his peers. He was regarded as a giant who fit in with the Yomiuri Giants.
However, not many people paid attention to his skills. He was the talk of the town, but few were interested in his potential.
It was Yomiuri’s first team coach, Abe, who discovered and created Akihiro.
When Abe was the second team manager, he declared, “I’m going to use Akihiro in the No. 4 spot in the batting order,” and gave him unlimited opportunities.
Along the way, Akihiro has grown as a baseball player.
Last winter, he trained independently with Nakata, the team’s senior, and absorbed all of Nakata’s strengths.
All of his attention was focused on baseball, to the point where he ate nine meals a day to strengthen his body. The extent of Akihiro’s diet was evident when, during a joint training session, Nakata posted on social media, “I’m running out of rice. Please send me some rice,” Nakata wrote in a half-joking, half-serious message on social media.
The results of the training were remarkable. Akihiro is now fully established as a first-team player, and he’s not just playing. He has the highest batting average on the team and is leading Yomiuri in interchange games.
As of the 17th, Akihiro is batting .329 with four home runs and 18 RBIs. His batting average is the best on the team.
He’s also playing more frequently, having appeared in 46 games. He’s now firmly entrenched as the No. 3 hitter in left field.
When Akihiro first appeared on the scene, many people dismissed him as a “zoo monkey”. At over two meters tall, he was seen as a player who could only draw attention to himself.
“It’s hard to develop into a good hitter when you’re so tall because it’s hard to balance,” was a common comment.
But Akihiro is proving them wrong. He’s gone from being a first-team player to being indispensable to the team.안전놀이터
As Akihiro has begun to break out, Yomiuri’s performance has been on the rise.
As of the 17th, Yomiuri is in first place with an 11-6 record. They are just one step away from their goal of winning their first interchange title in nine years. Akihiro is at the center of it all.
How far will Akihiro’s growth go? Let’s keep an eye on Akihiro’s future as he continues to establish himself as a true Yomiuri giant.