Prospect Call Up – Shogo Akiyama – OF – Cincinnati Reds

It is always an odd thing to write about a 32-year old “prospect”, but Shogo Akiyama will be making his MLB debut with the Reds after nine season in his native Japan. He had a .301/.376/.454 slash line in Japan’s highest level but didn’t really have any stats that truly jump out. His best power season was in 2017 when he hit 25 home runs, he never drove in 100, and he topped out at 18 steals in 2016. He did make the All-Star team five times, and the OBP has been .385 or better in each of the past five seasons.

Overall, Akiyama is no superstar, but he has all the makings of a solid big leaguer who can contribute in all aspects of the game. He has a bit of an awkward swing, with the natural pulling body that many Japanese hitters have, he almost intentionally gets jammed at times as he has a whole field approach. He will go gap-to-gap and hit plenty of doubles for the Reds.

His defense is good enough, although his tools are again, average. He will likely spend most the season in left field, although he can fill in the other two outfield spots if needed. He signed three-year deal for $7M per and is part of the big trio of bats the Reds added, along with Nick Castellanos and Mike Moustakas.

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