Yamato Maeda

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Yamato
(Yamato Maeda)
HT-Yamato-Maeda.jpg
Hanshin Tigers – No. 0
Infielder
Born: (1987-11-05) November 5, 1987 (age 27)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Professional debut
NPB: 2006 for the Hanshin Tigers
NPB statistics
(through 2012)
Batting average .246
Home runs 0
RBI 37
Teams

Yamato Maeda (前田 大和?, born November 5, 1987 in Kanoya, Kagoshima) is a Japanese professional baseball outfielder for the Hanshin Tigers in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball. He has been registered as "Yamato" since 2007.

Early Baseball Career[edit]

He played for the Kanoya Boy Scout's softball club in his early years, then joined the Kanoya Baystars during junior high. He entered Shonan High School and joined its baseball club as a shortstop, and participated in the Summer Koshien during his 1st and 3rd year, reaching the quarter final round in the latter. During that time, his impressive defense caught the attention of Tigers manager Akinobu Okada who was watching the televised game, that prompted him to choose Yamato as the Tiger's 4th pick in the 2005 high school draft.[1]

Hanshin Tigers[edit]

Meiji Jingu Stadium, Aug. 17 2012

2010

He participated in 62 official games for the season, and also appeared in his first hero interview. Although he was officially registered as an infielder, he played 4 games as a centerfielder. When he joined the Miyazaki Phoenix League during postseason, he expressed his wish to be trained further as an outfielder.[2]

2011

He started the season at the first squad, but was taken off the register when he hurt his left shoulder during a ni-gun game in early May. [3] His first official appearance was during the August 7 game with the Swallows, where he was assigned as first baseman. For the rest of the season, he alternated as right fielder and third baseman, mostly for defensive purposes.

2012

His registration was changed from infielder to center fielder at the beginning of the season. He often batted in 2nd position in games against left-handed pitchers, as he performed better at his at-bats during those games. For the second half of the season, Manager Wada opted for speed in his lead-off hitters by appointing Hiroki Uemoto at 1st, and Yamato at second.

This is Yamato's first season to play in more than a hundred games (128), batting in 80 hits and 26 runs at an average of .257.

2013

Throughout the year, he was fixed as the 2nd batter and center fielder. Together with Tsuyoshi Nishioka who just joined the team, became the teams lead-off hitters and often displayed extensive defense in the outfield. During the mid-season interleague, he hit a brief slump and was briefly demoted in the batting line up. During the June 1 match with the Buffaloes however, he delivered consecutive hits from Chihiro Kaneko in 3 at-bats.[4]

One of his more memorable matches for the season was on the June 29 match with the Carps at Koshien, where his parents, who came all the way from his hometown to watch, were also in attendance. On the 4th inning, he reached base on a walk, stole second, and scored on a single to center by Matt Murton. Down one run in the 5th, with runners on first and third and one out, he laid down a squeeze bunt hit to tie the game at three. In the 9th inning, with runners on first and second and two out, he hit a walk-off double to left and the Tigers won the game. He was awarded the Sixth Georgia Spirit Award for 2013 for his performance on this game during offseason.[5]

He was however taken off the active roster when his right hand got fractured by a wild pitch from Baystars' Atori Ota on August 20.[6] He returned in time for the 2nd game of the Climax Series first stage match with the Carps on October 13, but the Tigers were not able to advance any further after two consecutive defeats. Due to his injury, he had fewer appearances for the season (104 games), but he nevertheless recorded a higher batting average of .273.

On October 19, he announced his plan to marry 25-year-old freelance reporter Mariko Hara.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "「高校野球? 見とるよ」/岡田監督". nikkansports.com (Nikkan Sports). 2010-03-30. Retrieved 2012-11-02. 
  2. ^ "阪神・大和「試合出たい」外野練習を志願". Sankei Sports(2010年10月21日). 2010-10-21. 
  3. ^ "大和 前半戦復帰は絶望…". デイリースポーツ. 2011-05-14. 
  4. ^ "打順降格の大和が意地の決勝2点二塁打". デイリースポーツ. 2013-06-02. 
  5. ^ "大和のサヨナラ打で虎3連勝!「やっちゃいましたね」]". サンケイスポーツ. 2013-06-29. 
  6. ^ "阪神・大和、今季絶望か…右手第5中手骨骨折". サンケイスポーツ. 2013-08-21. 
  7. ^ "阪神、大和の結婚発表 お相手はフリーアナ・原麻理子". Sports Nippon News. 2013-10-19. 

External links[edit]