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PL News and Notes: Sho Nakata (HAM) could become youngest to record 100 RBI in a season

by on Jul.20, 2011 @ 1:58 pm, under NPB

Nippon Ham Fighters

Sho Nakata tweaked his hitting mechanics a little mid-game yesterday.  During his at bat in the bottom of the 1st, he used his usual no-step approach (there's no leg kick, no real stepping into the pitch), but in the bottom of the 5th, he added in a little step to help with his timing.

Said Nakata, "I don't like sticking to one set form.  [What I like to do is make changes] based on how I'm feeling that day and who I'm facing."

Nakata also likes to change his bats from time to time (different lengths and weights).

Other notes on Nakata:

...he leads both leagues with 12 game-winning RBI.

...he could become the youngest to record 100 RBI in a season, surpassing players Sadaharu Oh (106 in 1963), Hiromitsu Kadota (120 in 1971), Masayuki Kakefu (102 in 1978), and Hideki Matsui (103 in 1997), who reached the milestone when they were 23.  Nakata is currently on pace for 101 RBIs.

...and if he makes it took 100 RBI this season, he'd also become the only player in NBP history to achieve the milestone at the age of 22.  The current highs: 99 by Hideki Matsui in 1996 and 96 by Isao Harimoto in 1962.

Orix Buffaloes

Takahiro Okada has been struggling.  For the month of July: 9-for-50, 13 TB, 14 SO, 6 BB, .180/.283/.260.  He's also 0 for his last 12 with 6 strikeouts.