You may have noticed that this winter’s slate of free agents isn’t exactly teeming with high-end center fielders. That state of affairs led us to examine recently what could be a robust trade market for Pirates star Starling Marte. With so much demand and so little obvious supply, the timing may be just right for a relatively unknown option up the middle.
Center fielder Shogo Akiyama is known well to fans of Nippon Professional Baseball. The 31-year-old, a left-handed hitter, has starred for the Seibu Lions since a breakout 2015 season. He’s a .301 lifetime hitter with strong plate discipline. More recently, his power has been on the rise, with a total of 69 home runs over the past three seasons.