Shuhei Fukuda (2)

From BR Bullpen

Shuhei Fukuda (福田周平)

BR Register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Infielder turned outfielder Shuhei Fukuda began playing in Nippon Pro Baseball in 2018 with the Orix Blue Wave. He is not to be confused with another Shuhei Fukuda, who began his career a decade earlier, and who is mainly an OF/1B; the two players' names are written with different characters in Japanese.

Fukuda was a member of the Japanese national team that took part in the 2017 Asian Championship that were held in Taiwan, during which Japan won a Gold Medal. He was 3 for 7 with a double, triple, two walks, two runs and three RBI as a part-timer. Pinch-hitting for Yuki Yamauchi in the Gold Medal Game, he hit a sacrifice fly. He had played for very prestigious institutions in both high school and college, making him a natural for the national team. He first played in NPB in 2018, batting .264 in 113 games with Orix, although with only 13 extra-base hits and 15 RBIs. He replaced Masahiro Nishino as the team's regular second baseman. While he played a handful of games in the minor league Western League that season and the following ones, he was mainly a regular in the Pacific League, playing second base and hitting around .270 without much power. In 2021, having moved to center field, he played in the Japan Series, in Orix's four-games-to-two loss against the Yakult Swallows. In Game 1 on November 20th, he laid down a critical sacrifice bunt as part of a three-run 9th-inning rally that gave the Buffaloes a 4-3 win.

In 2022, he struck out three times during Roki Sasaki's perfect game for the Chiba Lotte Marines on April 10th - not that he was alone as Sasaki racked up 19 Ks, and the 3-4-5 hitters for Orix (Masataka Yoshida, Rangel Ravelo and himself) all struck out all three times they came up. Sasaki extended his perfect streak with 8 more flawless innings in his next start and faced Orix again on April 24th, when Shuhei ended the amazing streak by singling on the first pitch of the game.

He is considered to be one of the fastest players in NPB and stole 30 bases in 2019.

Related Sites[edit]