RBI Machine Asamura Leads Rakuten

The Rakuten Golden Eagles have gotten off to a torrid 13-5 start. They are led by the ridiculous RBI pace of Hideto Asamura, who has slugged 9 homeruns and driven in 28 in just 18 games. The closest person to him in the RBI race in the Pacific League is Orix Buffaloes Takahiro Okada, who has 18. In the Central League Munetaka Murakami leads the RBI race with 18.

It is the last week that Asamura has punched in a number of runs with RBIs in five consecutive games. He has driven in 10 RBIs during that time frame, hitting homeruns in four consecutive games in which the Eagles won four out of five. The home run streak ended when he failed to hit a homerun in his last game. On June 27th, in a game won by the Eagles 18-5 he drove in seven runs.

Asamura isn’t the only bat that is hitting for Rakuten. The Golden Eagles have five players with double digit RBI numbers in a season that has only completed 18 games. Jabari Blash (13), Stefan Romero (11), Hiroaki Shimauchi (16) and Daichi Suzuki (14) are four other players joining Asamura who have also reached double digit RBI figures. No other team in the Pacific League has more than three players with have double digit RBI figures.

It will be interesting to see if Rakuten can maintain their run scoring pace. Despite driving in 13 runs Blash has not seen his power game yet with only one homerun this year. Last year Blash powered 33. He should improve. Suzuki is a new addition signed as a free agent this year after playing eight years with the Chibba Lotte Marines.

The Eagles are so confident in their offense that they traded their big bat from the last five years, Zeolous Wheeler to the Yomiuri Giants on June 29th of this year.

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