토스카지노 According to the 2023 salary survey released by the Nippon Professional Baseball Players Association on 24 April, the average annual salary of the 714 registered players (excluding foreign players) in both the Central and Pacific Leagues is 44.69 million yen (approximately $410 million). This is almost three times higher than the average annual salary of KBO players, which is 146.48 million won.
One thing stood out. The Yomiuri Giants returned to the top of the average salary list after a four-year absence. At 680.7 million yen (about $675 million), they dethroned SoftBank, which had held the top spot for three consecutive years.
SoftBank, which has been aggressively investing in top players, fell to 67.63 million yen from 70.02 million yen in 2022.
That was nearly three times more than the Nippon Ham Fighters (23.69 million yen), who finished last of the 12 teams.
The 2022 Japan Series champion Oryx Buffaloes had 34.85 million yen and the 2021 Japan Series champion and last year’s runner-up Yakult Swallows had 47.97 million yen.
Salaries don’t always translate into results. Just like last year, this year is no different.
As of the 21st, they have 53 wins, 1 draw and 54 losses, with a winning percentage of 4.9/5. Yomiuri suffered back-to-back losses to Hiroshima Carp on the 19th and 20th of this month, dropping them to 5%. They are fourth in the Central League, 1.5 games behind the third-place Yokohama BayStars. They are 12.5 games behind the first-place Hanshin Tigers and 5.5 games behind second-place Hiroshima.
Nakata celebrates his 300th career home run against Hiroshima on 6 August. Photo credit: Yomiuri Giants SNS
The Orix, who earn half of Yomiuri’s average annual salary, are on track for their third straight Pacific League title. They have 63 wins, three ties, and 40 losses, with a winning percentage of 6.1%.
They have 35 games left. At this rate, it’s hard to avoid a second straight Class B finish (fourth to sixth out of six teams) and a third straight fourth-place finish. Last season, they won 68 games, drew 72 and lost 4.8 points. Finished fourth, half a game behind Hanshin, and failed to qualify for the best-of-three climactic series.
It will be difficult to rebound if their main batsmen and highest-paid players, Hayato Sakamoto (35), Yoshihiro Maru (34) and Sho Nakata (34), are unavailable for the rest of the season.
All three have a history of being sidelined by injury. Not enough plate appearances. In their mid-30s, their presence has diminished due to the effects of injuries.
Sakamoto, a long-time Yomiuri representative, batted .287 (82-for-62) with 14 home runs, 38 RBIs and a 2.339 slugging percentage in 83 games. He struggled mightily early in the season before gradually picking up the pace. Even if it’s better than last year, which was his worst year since becoming a starter, it’s still below par.
Akihiro has made the leap to being a mainstay in his third year. Photo: Yomiuri Giants SNS
Sakamoto, Yomiuri’s starting shortstop.Photo credit: Yomiuri Giants SNS
Sakamoto went hitless in five at-bats in a three-game series against Hiroshima last weekend. He pinch-hit on the 19th and 20th and struck out in both at-bats.
Sakamoto is the third highest paid player in Nippon Professional Baseball this season, behind Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix – 650 million yen) and Yuki Yanagita (Softbank – 120 million yen). It is the same salary as “Monster” Munetaka Murakami (Yakult).
Maru hit .284 (67-for-67) with 11 home runs and 29 RBIs in 87 games, while Nakata hit .242 (13-for-64) with 13 home runs and 31 RBIs in 82 games. Last year, Maru had 27 homers and 65 RBIs, while Nakata had 24 homers and 68 RBIs.
Maru is 11th in salary this year, while Nakata is tied for 13th. Nakata re-signed for 150 million yen more than last season.
The player they are being compared to is Akihiro Yuto (21), a third-year high school graduate. In his first professional year in 2021, he appeared in one game.
Maru hit a pinch-hit home run in the 10th inning of an extra-inning game against the Orix on 8 June. He performed a heart ceremony after the game. Photo source=Yomiuri Giants SNS
The hitting prospect became a mainstay in his third year. In 90 games, he is batting .319 (92-for-319) with 10 home runs and 37 RBIs. His salary this year is 6.39 million yen.