Every rookie dreams of finding their way into the record books. They all want to be a star on the greatest possible stage, their names will forever be remembered for their achievements on the diamond. However, Hanshin Tiger’s rookie Teruaki Sato set a team record that no one wants.
Sato had struggled to land hits during his time with the Tigers. On Friday, his futility streak reached 41 record appearances, a new team record.
Teruaki Sato can’t buy a hit from Hanshin Tigers
Sato’s losing streak has two parts. He had 35 record appearances without a hit before the Tigers sent him back to the minors on September 10. He was then called back and put back on the lineup on Thursday, where his hitless streak continued.
Despite these problems, Sato had a solid season. He produced a 790 OPS in his 403 record appearances and hit 24 doubles and 23 homers. However, you could see where he was going to start having problems as Sato only drew 20 walks and painted 153 times.
Sato’s struggles don’t change the Tigers’ hopes for the young outfielder. He was considered a top power hitter in his draft class, but also impressed with his speed and his strong limb. Sato has spent time in third place this season as well, showing off a solid glove along with his impressive arm strength.
Still young to the top tier of Nippon Professional Baseball, it’s no great surprise that Sato struggled. That will change as he adapts to the league as they adapted to him. Given his pedigree, it is only a matter of time before this happens.
Teruaki Sato made history for the Hanshin Tigers. It’s just not the kind of story he wanted to make in his rookie season.