Kazuhiro Hatakeyama

From BR Bullpen


Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (畠山 和洋)

BR minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Kazuhiro Hatakeyama has played in Nippon Pro Baseball.

Hatakeyama hit 62 home runs in high school. The Yakult Swallows took him in the 5th round in 2000. He won the Eastern League (NPB) home run and RBI titles in 2002. He also played for the Japanese national team in the 2002 Asian Games, when Japan won the Bronze. He made his debut with the big club in August 2004. His first hit was October 7, 2004, against Hisanori Takahashi, his only hit in 8 at-bats in 2004. He was 2 for 11 with 2 walks, a homer and 5 strikeouts in 2005; his home run came August 19 off Taiyo Fujita. In 2006, he was 0 for 6 with a walk. He hit .227/.326/.293 in 88 plate appearances over 37 games in 2007. He became Yakult's starting first baseman in 2008 and hit .279/.364/.406. He was 7th in the Central League with 53 walks, between Shuichi Murata and Norihiro Nakamura.

He lost his starting job in 2009 as Yakult brought in Jamie D'Antona. Kazuhiro fell to .236/.329/.357 in a backup role, subbing for D'Antona at 1B and Shinya Miyamoto at 3B. In 2010, he was used mostly in left field (48 games) while again backing up D'Antona and Miyamoto; he hit .300/.380/.551 with 14 HR in 280 plate appearances.

His 2010 performance won him back the Swallows' starting role at 1B in 2011. He produced at a .269/.373/.462 rate with 23 home runs and 85 RBI. He was among the league leaders in runs (66, tied for 5th with Matt Murton), doubles (24, tied for 6th with Murton and Kazuhiro Wada), home runs (23, tied for second with Alex Ramirez behind Wladimir Balentien), RBI (85, 3rd behind Takahiro Arai and Kenta Kurihara), total bases (230, 4th between Arai and Hayato Sakamoto), walks (78, tied for first with Takashi Toritani), strikeouts (94, 7th), OBP (3rd behind Toritani and Hisayoshi Chono), slugging (3rd behind Balentien and Chono) and OPS (2nd to Chono). He lost Best Nine honors at 1B to Kurihara.