Ryota Imanari

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Ryota Imanari
Imanari ryouta.jpg
Hanshin Tigers – No. 49
Infielder
Born: (1987-10-06) October 6, 1987 (age 26)
Bats: Left Throws: Right
Professional debut
NPB: 2008 for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters
NPB statistics
(through 2014)
Batting average .259
Home runs 4
RBI 24
Teams

Ryota Imanari (今成 亮太, born October 6, 1987 in Fujimi, Saitama) is a Japanese professional baseball infielder for the Hanshin Tigers in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball. He previously played as catcher for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters.

Early Baseball Career[edit]

Ryota started playing baseball even before he entered grade school. In junior high, he was also a member of the school's soccer club and even played in the Saitama Prefecture soccer tournament. He entered Urawa Gakuin, a high-school in Saitama known for its baseball team. In his second year, he was elected as team captain, and as a catcher led his team to participate in the Summer Koshien Tournament and the Spring Invitational Tournament.

He was the Fighter's 4th pick in the 2005 draft.

Nippon Ham Fighters[edit]

2006: In his rookie year, he played as a catcher in the team's farm league games, and participated in the Miyazaki Phoenix League during the latter half of the season.

2008: He appeared in his first ichi-gun game on the March 25 game with the Lions, and formed a battery with fellow rookie Akiyoshi Toyoshima during the 8th inning. His first hit as a pro came the next day when he pinch hit with the same team. In July 9, he appeared in the starting line-up for the first time in the game with the Chiba Lotte Marines, where he went 3-4 and recorded his first RBI.

2009-2010: His first-squad appearances decreased with the entry of Shota Ohno. He only appeared as a pinch-hitter once in 2010.

2011: He played in a total of 22 games. He was appointed as a pinch-hitter in 19 games, and played as catcher in 6 games.

Hanshin Tigers[edit]

2012

In April 28, 2012, he was transferred to the Hanshin Tigers in exchange for pitcher Ryuji Wakatake, and was assigned the jersey no. 49.[1] His father Yasuaki Imanari, is a scouting agent for the Fighters.

2013

In 2013, following the transfer of Takeshi Hidaka from the Orix Buffaloes, the team found itself with one too many catchers, and had to find a way to utilize Ryota's batting skills.[2] During the inter-league games, he was assigned as a designated hitter, then was later on promoted to the starting line-up as a left fielder.[3]

In the July 5–7 card with the Carps at the Mazda Zoom Zoom Stadium, he hit his first pro home-run on his first at-bat,[4] then recorded 4 more hits as the 5th batter 2 days after.[5] By mid-august, he was fixed as the right fielder and 6th hitter in the line-up, as Kosuke Fukudome was sidelined from an injury.[6] But due to his limited experience as an outfielder (season total of 3 errors),[7] he was also assigned different fielding positions depending on the situation.[8] In season total, he played 53 games as an outfielder, 4 games as first baseman, and 3 as catcher.

During the first leg of the climax series match with Hiroshima, he hit a solo timely off Kenta Maeda during his second at-bat in the 4th inning, tying the game. This was the first time in 49 innings that the Tigers scored a hit from Maeda.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ トレードのお知らせ 北海道日本ハムファイターズ公式サイト
  2. ^ "阪神・今成、1軍合流「まずは捕手でしっかり". Sanspo.com. March 12, 2013. 
  3. ^ "今成6番左翼で初のスタメンで二塁打". Nikkan Sports. May 20, 2013. 
  4. ^ "【阪神】今成「ビックリ」プロ初アーチ". Nikkan Sports. July 5, 2013. 
  5. ^ "阪神今成 プロ初5番で初4安打大暴れ". Nikkan Sports. July 8, 2013. 
  6. ^ "阪神 今成 プロ1号 苦節8年通算200打席目で出たV弾". Sponichi News. July 6, 2013. 
  7. ^ "阪神今成痛恨エラー あ~連敗3・5差". Nikkan Sports. July 17, 2013. 
  8. ^ 8月7日の広島戦(マツダスタジアム)から、福留がスタメンに復帰した8月15日まで、1番右翼手としてスタメンに起用(阪神、中学以来の「1番・今成」が的中!サンケイスポーツ2013年8月7日付記事=共同通信配信)。開幕から「2番・中堅手」として常時出場していた大和が打席での死球で8月22日に戦線を離脱してからは、福留に中堅を守らせることを前提に、同月25日の対中日ドラゴンズ戦(ナゴヤドーム)から2番右翼手としてスタメンに起用された(今成初2番!虎将、超攻撃型オーダーズバリ「サンケイスポーツ」2013年8月26日付記事)
  9. ^ "マエケン 苦手な相手は意外にも…攻略法テレビで明かした". Sponichi News. January 19, 2014. 

External links[edit]