It has been 30 years since the current home stadium has been used, but the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) Chiba Lotte Marines hitter with 30 home runs is rare. Especially Asian players.
Japanese media Baseball King looked back on the club’s 30 home run history on the 6th, saying, “Chiba Lotte hitters are having difficulty hitting more than 30 home runs.”
The player who hit the most homers last season for Chiba Lotte was 4th year outfielder Koki Yamaguchi (23). In his second season with the first team, he hit 16 home runs in 102 games and 349 at bats, becoming the team’s most home run hero.
According to the media, Yamaguchi said at the end of last year about his goal for this season, “I will start over from the beginning with the goal of hitting 30 homers.” However, the media asserted, “As fans know well, it is quite difficult to record 30 home runs in Lotte.”
ZOZO Marine Stadium, the home stadium of Chiba Lotte, is located just 150 meters from the sea. For this reason, it is difficult to hit a home run due to the influence of the sea breeze blowing from the sea. 메이저놀이터
Since its foundation in 1950, Chiba Lotte has had a total of 14 hitters with 30 home runs. In particular, since moving to ZOZO Marine Stadium in 1992, there have been only seven players. Among them, there was not a single Japanese batter.
In 2004, Benny Agbayani (52) hit the most homers with 35, followed by Jose Fernandez (49), who previously played for SK (now SSG), with 33 homers in 2003. Most recently, Brandon Laird (36) hit 32 home runs in 2019.
While the other six batters were non-Asian players, the only Asian player who set this record was Lee Seung-yeop (47, current Doosan coach). He hit 30 homers and 82 RBIs in 117 games in 2005, contributing to the team’s Japan Series victory.
Lee Seung-yeop, who hit the 30 home run high in a pitcher-friendly pitch, transferred to the Yomiuri Giants the following year. Using Tokyo Dome as his home, where more home runs are made, Lee hit 30 home runs for two consecutive years, including 41 in 2006. Although injuries and slumps overlapped after that, he played a role as a high-level foreign hitter for three years from 2005.
The media hopes that Yamaguchi will break the 30-home run high for Chiba Lotte Asians, which had been the only Lee Seung-yeop for 30 years. The media asserted, “Yamaguchi is a player in the process of growing, and it is certain that he will hit more home runs (16) than last season.”