Tatsushi Masuda is set to take over as the Seibu Lions new chief player representative. An official announcement will be made during a player meeting.
Source: Sanspo 11/28/2017
[UPDATE 11/30 @ 4:14am]
The Lions released their complete list of player representative officials on November 29.
Source: Seibu 11/29/20170 Comments
Twenty-nine-year-old Shogo Akiyama earned his domestic free agent option with seven years of service time on the active roster. He signed a three-year contract in December last year.
Source: Daily Sports 8/22/20170 Comments
Tomoyuki Sugano, Yomiuri (Fourth Time)
4 G, 4-0, 29.0 IP, 0.31 ERA, 30 SO, 1 ER
Sugano won the MVP of the Month Award for the second time this year (May and July). He led the league with four wins and a 0.31 ERA in July. He won all four of his starts. Sugano is the first Yomiuri pitcher to win two MVP of the Month Awards in one season since Masaki Saito in 1990 (May and July).
Masayuki Kuwahara, Yokohama (First Time)
21 G, .389 AVG, 35 H, 6 HR, 14 RBI, 2 SB
Kuwahara batted first in every game in July and led the league with a .389 batting average. He recorded a hit in seventeen of the twenty-one games he played. Of the seventeen, thirteen were multi-hit games; of the thirteen, five were modashos. He also led the league in on base percentage (.439) and his seventeen runs scored was good for a second place tie with two other players. On July 1, he recorded a lead-off home run and a come-from-behind grand slam in the ninth. Kuwahara is the first Yokohama player to win the award since Jose Lopez later year (September).
Nao Higashihama, Softbank (First Time)
3 G, 3-0, 20.1 IP, 1.33 ERA, 13 SO, 3 ER
Higashihama pitched in three games in July and led the league in wins (tied with five others). He gave up a run on four hits over 5.1 innings against Nippon Ham on July 7; a run on five hits over 7.2 innings against Seibu on July 17; and a run on five hits over 7.1 innings against Rakuten on July 27.
Shogo Akiyama, Seibu (Third Time)
23 G, .351 AVG, 33 H, 3 HR, 19 RBI, 2 SB
Akiyama batted lead-off in all twenty-three of his team’s games in July. He led the league in hits (33), RBI (19), and total bases (52). His sixteen runs scored was tied for most with two other players. He recorded three hits and four RBI on July 6 against Nippon Ham, July 11 against Lotte, and July 23 against Nippon Ham. He also recorded four hits and two RBI against Orix on July 25. He put together an eleven-game hitting streak between July 18 and 30. Akiyama won the MVP of the Month Award two other times, both in 2015 (March/April and June). This is the seventy-second time a Seibu player won the award, most in the league.
Source: NPB 8/8/20170 Comments
May 5 vs Rakuten at Rakuten Seimei – Akiyama joined Don Buford (1975) and Makoto Sasaki (1994) as the only players in Seibu Lions history to record multiple hits in eight consecutive games. The Pacific League record of ten was set by Charlie Luis in 1954 and Michihiro Ogasawara in 2001.
July 13 vs Central at Kyocera Dome – Akiyama hit a lead-off home run in the first inning off Daisuke Matsuzaka (the tenth lead-off home run in All-Star history). He became the first player in All-Star history to hit lead-off home runs two years in a row. He also became the first player in All-Star history with two lead-off home runs to his name.
July 16 vs Softbank at YafuOku Dome – Akiyama played in the 1,000th game of his career. He is the 493rd player in NPB history to play in 1,000 games.
July 20 vs Rakuten at MetLife Dome – Akiyama tied a Pacific League record by playing in his 535th consecutive complete game.
August 18 vs Nippon Ham at MetLife Dome – Akiyama recorded the fifteenth lead-off home run of his career (off Naoyuki Uwasawa).
Source: Sports Hochi 8/18/2018
September 18 vs Nippon Ham at MetLife Dome – Akiyama blasted his fifth lead-off home run of the year (sixteenth of his career) off Takayuki Kato. The sixteen lead-off home runs is good for third on the Lions all-time list, behind Hiromichi Ishige’s thirty and Kazuo Matsui’s eighteen.
September 25 vs Seibu at Rakuten Seimei – Akiyama blasted the first grand slam of his career (ninth inning, off Kohei Morihara).
Source: Sponichi 9/26/2018
November 17 – Thirty-year-old Akiyama is interested in playing in the Majors. He will be in the final year of a three-year contract in 2019. Assuming no injuries, he should be able to earn his international free agent option some time during the 2019 season. He could make for a push to play in the Majors in 2020.
Source: Spoorts Hochi 11/17/2018
December 22 – Akiyama believes if he really wants to play in the Majors, his last chance might be 2020. He will turn thirty-one in April next year.
May 16 – The Saitama Seibu Fire Bureau announced that Akiyama will be used in their 2017 fire prevention posters.
Source: Saitama Seibu 5/16/2017
December 3 – Akiyama turned down a multi-year deal and opted for a one-year contract worth an estimated 235 million yen plus incentives. He told reporters that he first wanted to finish his current three-year deal (he will be in the final year of a three-year contract next season) before discussing a new multi-year deal. He also told reporters he was thinking about the international free agent option he could earn next year.
December 2 – Akiyama will be in Phnom Penh, Cambodia between December 10-13 for an event to help spread baseball around the world.0 Comments
The media learned that Shogo Akiyama participated in the World Baseball Classic with a fracture in his right fifth toe (pinky). He suffered the fracture when he was hit by a pitch during a practice game against Hanshin on March 3. The Seibu Lions were notified immediately after Samurai Japan found out he was hurt.
[UPDATE 3/26 @ 9:19pm]
According to reports posted this morning, the fracture was in the fourth toe (the toe next to the pinky).0 Comments
Shogo Akiyama met the Seibu Lions for salary negotiations at Seibu Prince Dome on November 1 and agreed to a new three-year contract with a variable salary. He is set to earn an estimated 200 million yen plus incentives next year.
[UPDATE 12/3 @ 10:04pm]
Akiyama’s contract with Seibu could be three years at about 800 million yen (with incentives maxed out).
Source: Sponichi 12/2/20160 Comments
The Seibu Lions announced two births:
Shogo Akiyama’s wife gave birth to the couple’s second child, a boy, at a hospital in Yokosuka, Kanagawa on September 8.
Ernesto Mejia’s wife gave birth to the couple’s first child, a boy, on September 8.0 Comments