Fuminori Yokogawa Blasts First Home Run

Jiwon Bang

Fuminori Yokogawa (Honolulu Sharks, 2007) of the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles hit the first home run of his career in a June 6 inter league game against the Yokohama Bay Stars.


As the only Japanese position player to be selected to the HWB All Star squad in the 2007 season, Yokogawa enjoyed success on the field in Hawaii, posting a .313 average (fifth-highest in the league) and 11 stolen bases (second highest) for the Sharks. Even though he did not make the Major League roster in time for the regular season opener, the second-year outfielder was called up in May, and performed well with his bat. While he has yet to secure a regular role, his contributions give Yokogawa a positive presence on the team.


>Shinya Nakayama (North Shore Honu, 2007) of the Orix Buffaloes took the mound on June 7 against the Hiroshima Toyo Carp, and gave up just two runs in seven innings to notch his second win of the season. Also, Nakayama's teammate outfielder Shintaro Yoshida (Honu, 2007) made his season debut, and recorded his first hit as a pinch hitter against the Hanshin Tigers on June 8.


>Takumi Kobe (Honolulu Sharks, 2007) of Chiba Lotte Marines recorded his first career home run on May 24.


Considered by many as the "next pure slugger" of the new generation in Japan, Kobe was called up to the Majors for the first time in early May and made an impressive debut, but his playing time has been limited recently. On May 24, when Lotte matched up in the inter league game against the Tokyo Yakult Swallows, Kobe was in the starting lineup for the first time in ten days, and in his first at-bat, blasted a shot over the right field fence.


Through May 27, in his first stint with the Major League team, Kobe played in 15 games with a .212 batting average and 2 RBIs, mainly as a backup outfielder for Lotte.

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