Maybe the best hitter of the year…on pace for 30-30 homers and 100 RBIs in his third year…Yokohama’s No. 4 hitter who summoned Hara 40 years ago, first triple-digit RBIs in both leagues.

In his third year, he’s on track to hit .305 with 30 home runs and 100 RBIs.

Yokohama BayStars infielder Shugo Maki, 25, reached 100 RBIs for the season with three hits against the Hanshin Tigers on Aug. 18. He hit a leadoff single and scored the game-winning run while batting second in the fourth inning at Nishinomiya Koshien Stadium in Hyogo Prefecture. He has seven RBIs in his last five games.

It is his first 100 RBI in both leagues of Nippon Professional Baseball. Leads the Central League in RBIs over Kazuma Okamoto (41, Yomiuri Giants) and Munetaka Murakami (30, Yakult Swallows), who are 1-2 in home runs.

Okamoto’s 93 and Murakami’s 80 rank second and fourth, respectively, in that category. Pacific League leader Gensuke Kondo (SoftBank Hawks) has 79.

He is a very strong clutch hitter. With runners in scoring position through the 18th inning against Hanshin, he is 44-for-120 with 3 doubles, 6 triples, 6 home runs, and 68 RBIs. Under the same conditions, Okamoto was 2-for-4 and Murakami was 2-for-5. Maki’s home run deficit is why he leads the league in RBIs.

In the top of the sixth inning, with the score tied at 0-0, Maki was on second base. He lined a single up the middle against right-hander Ren Kajiya, who had replaced him in the lineup. On a 1B2S count, he took a seven-pitch fastball (148 mph) up and away.

In the top of the 10th inning of extra innings with the score tied 1-1, he did it again.

With runners on first and second, he hit a triple down the right-field line, bringing home two runners. He crushed a low, outside fastball (149 kilometers per hour) from right-hander Daichi Ishii. It was the game-winning hit in a 3-2 victory. Hit two RBI singles in the second inning. Accounted for all three of his team’s runs.

Maki went 3-for-4 on the day with a hit and a walk. Yokohama won its second straight game against Hanshin, which clinched its first title in 18 years. The previous game was a 1-0 shutout.

100 hits in his third year. Only the sixth player in 40 years to do so since Tatsunori Hara (Yomiuri) in 1983. “I’m happy to have reached my goal,” said Maki, who started the season with 100 RBI.

After graduating from Chuo University, Maki was selected by Yokohama with the second overall pick in the 2021 draft. He made a splash in his first year with the team. In 2021, he batted 31-for-153 with 22 home runs and 71 RBIs, and in 2022, he batted 29-for-148 with 24 home runs and 87 RBIs. He became the first Yokohama player to hit 20 homers in back-to-back seasons since his rookie campaign.

He was the starting second baseman for Team Japan at the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in March.

His performance has improved every year of his career. In 133 games played, he is batting .296 (156-for-527) with 28 home runs and 100 RBIs. He ranks fourth in hits, third in home runs, and first in RBIs.메이저놀이터

Only three players have ever gone 30-30, home runs and 100 RBI in their third year. Hara in 1983 was the last.

This season, he has been strong at first-place Hanshin and Hanshin’s home ballpark, Koshien. At Hanshin, he batted .355 with 2 doubles and 7 home runs.

-23 RBI, and went 8-for-23 with five home runs and 13 RBI against Hanshin on the road.

With 10 games remaining, Yokohama is in third place, two games behind the second-place Hiroshima Capps. They could meet Hanshin, who went straight to the final stage of the Climax Series (postseason), in fall baseball.

In Nippon Professional Baseball, the second and third place teams in the league play the first stage of the Climax Series, and the winner plays the league champion in the final stage. The winner then plays the Pacific League team for the title in the Japan Series.

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