Over nine seasons with the Saitama Seibu Lions of NPB’s Pacific League, Shogo Akiyama was the leadoff/outfield prototype that managers’ dreams are made of. His bat-to-ball skills and blazing speed made him a pest to opposing pitchers, while his range and steady glove in the outfield made him one of the best defenders in the league. He did all of the “little things,” and the flashy ones too! From 2011-2019, he amassed an impressive number of accomplishments, including:
6× Pacific League Golden Glove Award (2013, 2015–2019)
4× Pacific League Best Nine Award (2015, 2017–2019)
5× NPB All-Star (2015–2019)
Before the 2020 season, he signed with MLB’s Cincinnati Reds. While it took him a while to adjust to MLB pitching in the Covid-affected 2020 season, he was highly productive in the second half of the season and was named a finalist for the National League Gold Glove Award for left field. Reds fans got a taste of all the ways he can contribute to a winning ballclub, and we look forward to him becoming a fan favorite in Cincinnati, just as he was in Tokorozawa.