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Sakamoto, Hayato 坂本 勇人 (さかもと・はやと)
Yomiuri Giants | #6 | INF
Born: 12/13/1988 (age 29)
Height: 186cm
Weight: 83kg
Bats: R
Throws: R
Blood Type: AB
Hometown: Hyogo
Draft: 2006, High School 1st Round
History: 光星学院高(甲)
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[7/17/2018] Hayato Sakamoto taken off active roster

Hayato Sakamoto hurt his left side during a game against the Hanshin Tigers on July 16. He was taken off the active roster on July 17.

Source: Sanspo 7/17/2018, Tokyo Sports 7/17/2018, Daily Sports 7/17/2018, Sponichi 7/17/2018, Nikkan Sports 7/17/2018

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[5/9/2018] Nihon Seimei MVP of the Month Awards for March/April

Central League

Pitching

Randy Messenger, Hanshin (Third Time)
5 G, 4-1, 29.2 IP, 1.82 ERA, 28 SO, 6 ER

Messenger picked up his third MVP of the Month award, first since March/April of last year. He led the league with four wins. He became the first foreign pitcher to get the opening day start four years in a row. He is the first foreign Hanshin player to win three MVP of the Month awards. The previous record of two was held by Randy Bass (April 1985, June 1986) and Jason Standridge (June 2011, July 2011).

Hitting

Hayato Sakamoto, Yomiuri (First Time)
25 G, .369 AVG, 38 H, 2 HR, 20 RBI, 2 SB

Sakamoto notched the first MVP of the Month award of his career. He led the league in batting average (.369) and hits (38). He went 4-for-4 against Yakult at Tokyo Dome on April 30, notched eleven multi-hit games, and recorded twenty RBI (good for a third place tie) in March/April. He is the first Yomiuri hitter to win an MVP of the Month award since Shuichi Murata in August 2013. He is the first shortstop in franchise history to win an MVP of the Month award.

Pacific League

Pitching

Shinsaburo Tawata, Seibu (First Time)
5 G, 5-0, 35.0 IP, 2.06 ERA, 1 CG, 22 SO, 8 ER

Tawata pitched in five games and recorded five victories. His 2.06 ERA was good for a third place tie. He tossed six shutout innings against Nippon Ham on March 31, allowed one run over seven innings against Orix on April 7, gave up one run in a complete game victory against Rakuten on April 14, three runs in six innings against Lotte on April 21, and two runs over seven innings against Rakuten on April 29.

Hitting

Hotaka Yamakawa, Seibu (Third Time)
24 G, .337 AVG, 28 H, 11 HR, 33 RBI

Yamakawa started in all twenty-four of his team’s games in March/April. he led the league in home runs (11), RBI (33), total bases (69), slugging percentage (.831), batting average with runners in scoring position (.560), and walks (22). He recorded at least one RBI in four games and homered in three consecutive games between April 21 and 25 (including a grand slam and three-run home run on April 25). He also hit home runs in two consecutive games on April 28 and 29.

Source: NPB 5/9/2018

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[7/30/2017] Hayato Sakamoto may have left game with injury

Hayato Sakamoto may have suffered some sort of an injury during his at bat in the third inning of a game against the Yokohama Bay Stars at Tokyo Dome on July 30. He remained in the dugout until Yoshinobu Takahashi stepped onto the field after the inning to report a change in the line-up.

Source: Nikkan Sports 7/30/2017

[UPDATE 7/31 @ 4:09pm]

Sakamoto may have felt some discomfort in his lower body. General Manager Yoshitaka Katori did not provide media with specifics, but did say his condition was not serious and that they pulled him from the game as a precaution. When asked if there was a chance Sakamoto might have to be taken off the active roster, he said no and that everything will probably be okay since they have a day until their next game.

Source: Sponichi 7/31/2017, Daily Sports 7/31/2017

[UPDATE 7/31 @ 6:58pm]

Tokyo Sports is wondering if Sakamoto’s lower back might be acting up again.

Source: Tokyo Sports 7/31/2017

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Hayato Sakamoto: Did You Know

Milestones

2017

July 9 vs Hanshin at Koshien Stadium – Sakamoto recorded the 1,500th hit of his career. The milestone hit came in the ninth inning off Rafael Dolis.

Sakamoto is the 123rd player in NPB history to reach the 1,500-hit milestone. He recorded the 1,500th hit in his 1,354th game, third fewest games in franchise history, behind Tetsuharu Kawakami’s 1,241 games and Shigeo Nagashima’s 1,273 games.

At twenty-eight years and six months, Sakamoto is the youngest player in Yomiuri Giants’ franchise history to reach the milestone. The previous record of thirty years and four months was set by Sadaharu Oh in 1970. He is the second youngest player in NPB history to reach the milestone, behind Kihachi Enomoto at twenty-seven years and nine months. He is the youngest right-handed hitter in NPB history to reach the milestone. The previous record of twenty-nine years and one month was set by Harutoshi Kodama in 1964.

Source: Daily Sports 7/9/2017, Nikkan Sports 7/9/2017, Nikkan Sports 7/10/2017

2018

April 17 vs Yokohama at Hard Off Niigata – Sakamoto recorded the 124th modasho of his career.

Source: Sponichi 4/18/2018Nikkan Sports 4/18/2018

April 25 vs Chunichi at Maebashi – Sakamoto became the seventieth player in NPB history to hit 300 doubles. He is just the third player in NPB history to reach 300 doubles before turning thirty: Harutoshi Kodama at twenty-nine years and ten months, Kihachi Enomoto and Sakamoto at twenty-nine years and fourth months. He is the youngest player to reach 300 doubles at twenty-nine years, four months, and eleven days (Kihachi was twenty-nine years, four months, and fourteen days).

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/25/2018, Nikkan Sports 4/26/2018, Daily Sports 4/25/2018, Sponichi 4/26/2018

June 10 vs Seibu at Tokyo Dome – Sakamoto blasted the sixteenth lead-off home run of his career, fifth during Inter-league play.

Source: Sponichi 6/11/2018

July 7 vs Hiroshima at Tokyo Dome – Sakamoto notched his 100th hit of the season and became the sixth Giants player to record at least 100 hits in eleven or more consecutive seasons, behind Sadaharu Oh’s twenty-one, Shigeo Nagashima’s seventeen, Tetsuharu Kawakami and Tatsunori Hara’s twelve, and Shinnosuke Abe’s eleven.

Source: Sanspo 7/7/2018, Daily Sports 7/7/2018

July 16 vs Hanshin at Koshien – Sakamoto played in the 1,500th game of his career. He became the 191st player in NPB history to play in 1,500 games. At twenty-nine years and seven months, he also became the third quickest to 1,500 games, behind Kihachi Enomoto and Yasumitsu Toyoda. For players after the start of the draft, he is now the youngest player, moving past Kazuhiro Kiyohara’s previous record of thirty years and zero months.

Source: Sponichi 7/16/2018, Sanspo 7/16/2018, Sponichi 7/17/2018, Nikkan Sports 7/16/2018

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[6/15/2017] at home Hero Award for May

The at home Hero Award for May was given to Hayato Sakamoto for his two-homer game against Hanshin on May 10. The Giants won the game 9-7. Sakamoto recorded his first home run in the third inning with runners on first and second, one out, and the score tied at two. His second blast came in his next at bat as the lead-off hitter in the fifth inning. It marked the third time he hit home runs in consecutive trips to the plate in his career, first since April 27, 2016. Sakamoto went on to record a single to left in the sixth and finished the night 3-for-4 with four RBI.

Source: at home announcement, box score

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[12/5/2016] Hayato Sakamoto wins 2016 Yanase Giants MVP

The Yomiuri Giants announced today that Hayato Sakamoto won the 2016 Yanase Giants MVP Award. Since the Giants finished in second place, Sakamoto will get a Mercedes Benz C180 (third place = A class, second place = C class, and first place = E class). He also won the award in 2010.

As of 2015, five NPB teams (Giants, Chunichi Dragons, Hanshin Tigers, Orix Buffaloes, and Softbank Hawks) were eligible for the Yanase MVP Award if they finished in third place or better.

Source: Yomiuri announcement

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[9/6/2016] Hayato Sakamoto out of the starting line-up because of pain in calf

Hayato Sakamoto was left out of the starting line-up against the Hanshin Tigers at Koshien Stadium on September 6 because of pain in his left calf. Sakamoto fouled a pitch off the same area of his leg during a game against the Chunichi Dragons on September 4.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/6/2016

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[8/19/2016] at home Hero Award for July

The at home Hero Award for July was given to Hayato Sakamoto for his game against the Yokohama Bay Stars at Tokyo Dome on July 9. With the score tied at two in the bottom of the eight, Sakamoto led off the inning with a drive that cleared the fence in left. It was his sixteenth home run of the season and his first in seven games.

Source: at home announcement, box score

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[8/6/2016] Hayato Sakamoto records eighth straight multi-hit game

Hayato Sakamoto recorded his eighth straight multi-hit game on August 6 against the Hiroshima Carp at Mazda Stadium. The eight consecutive multi-hit games tied a Yomiuri franchise record set by Wally Yonamine in 1954 and Kiyoshi Nakahata in 1985.

The NPB record of ten was set by Tsuguo Goto in 1952, Charlie Lewis in 1954, and Michihiro Ogasawara in 2001.

Source: Nikkan Sports 8/6/2016, Sponichi 8/7/2016

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[7/30/2016] Hayato Sakamoto earns international FA option

Hayato Sakamoto earned his international FA option today with nine years of service time on the active roster.  He reportedly signed a multi-year deal contract with the Yomiuri Giants after the 2015 season.

Source: Sponichi 7/30/2016

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