The Vivacious One! (There’ll Be Some Changes Made).
It’s been a tough spring for A’s shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima, who is trying to make the transition from being a star in Japan to an every day player in the U.S.
But Bobby Valentine, who saw Nakajima play numerous games in Japan, says things are likely to get better.
...The knock on him was his defense, but from Valentine’s vantage point, Nakajima should be able to at least hold his own in the big leagues.
``He played in the same division that I managed,’’ Valentine said. ``He’s a quality player, a quality major league player. I’m not sure that he’s going to be able to go to his right and be a great shortstop. But I think he could be a good player.
``I don’t know that he’ll play great for the Oakland A’s. He has world class abilities. His challenge will be his arm. He has to learn the speed of the runners and adjust to the length of the grass. The skills don’t always translate.’‘
Nakajima played mostly on artificial turf in Japan. With the A’s, he’ll play his home games, and most of his road games, on grass. He’s going to have to acclimatize to that difference. And that’s not all.
``The hardest thing will be adjusting to the community — but he probably should,’’ Valentine said. ``He’s a very vivacious guy. He’s really smart.
``I had a lot of guys playing in Japan that were very successful in the United States and they came to Japan and couldn’t acclimate to the culture — and they stunk. It’s all about acclimation.’‘
Posted: March 20, 2013 at 03:43 PM | 10 comment(s)
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