Ryota Imanari

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Ryota Imanari
Imanari ryouta.jpg
Imanari with the Hanshin Tigers
Hanshin Tigers – No. 49
Born: (1987-10-06) October 6, 1987 (age 30)
Bats: Left Throws: Right
NPB debut
2008, for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters
NPB statistics
(through 2016)
Batting average .265
Home runs 6
RBI 68

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]


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.


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]


  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]