Terushi Nakajima

From BR Bullpen

Terushi Nakajima (中島 輝士)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 2", Weight 202 lb.

Terushi Nakajima played eight years in Nippon Pro Baseball after playing in the 1988 Olympics. He appeared in the corner infield and right field during his career.

Nakajima was noted as a hard-throwing pitcher in high school. A circulatory problem led to his move to the outfield while he was in the industrial leagues. He played for the Japanese national team for the first time during the 1987 Intercontinental Cup and won Silver in the 1987 Asian Championship. In the 1988 Baseball World Cup, Nakajima hit .308/.345/.558 with 9 runs and 11 RBI in 13 games, primarily at DH, as Japan finished 4th. He was also on the Japanese entry in the 1988 Olympics.

In the 1988 NPB draft, Nakajima was the first-round pick of the Nippon Ham Fighters. He hit a sayonara homer on Opening Day (April 8), 1989, becoming the second rookie to accomplish that feat in NPB history. He hit .233/.298/.390 for the year and missed much of the second half after being hit by a pitch.

In 1990, Terushi batted .253/.303/.409 in 117 games. He followed with a .219/.318/.356 campaign in 1991. In 1992, Nakajima produced at a .290/.342/.435 clip and made his only Pacific League All-Star team. He batted .286/.346/.437 in reduced time in 1993.

Nakajima slipped to .189/.229/.361 in 1994 as a part-time outfielder (55 games). He hit only .203/.268/.203 in 33 games (82 plate appearances) in 1995. Moving to the Kintetsu Buffaloes for 1996, he batted .227/.296/.250 in 52 games as a backup 1B to Chris Donnels.

Nakajima's career batting line in NPB was .251/.313/.389. In 641 games, he hit 52 homers and drove in 225 runners.

After retiring, Nakajima coached for Kintetsu's minor league team and then for the Fighters' farm club. In 2010, he coached for the SK Wyverns in South Korea. He followed by a year as hitting coach of the Uni-President Lions, becoming their manager in 2012 and taking them to the 2012 Taiwan Series. After a 33-39-1 start in 2013, he was canned.

Primary Sources: Japan Baseball Daily by Gary Garland, Defunct IBAF site, Taiwan Baseball Wiki