Reds News

Former Reds outfielder Shogo Akiyama is headed back to Japan

Cincinnati Reds center fielder Shogo Akiyama (4) bats.
Cincinnati Reds center fielder Shogo Akiyama (4) bats. / Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
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After failing to make it work in the major leagues, it appears that former Cincinnati Reds outfielder Shogo Akiyama is headed back to Japan. Per the Japan Times, Akiyama received "no offers from teams in American baseball". Akiyama was recently released by the San Diego Padres.

Akiyama was released by the Reds before the start of the 2022 season. Cincinnati instead went with an outfield of Nick Senzel, Tyler Naquin, Aristides Aquino, Jake Fraley, and Tommy Pham.

After the Reds failed to re-sign Nick Castellanos and traded Jesse Winker this past offseason, it appeared as though Akiyama may have had a realistic chance to make the Opening Day roster. But signing Pham to a one-year contract was the final nail in the coffin.

Former Reds OF Shogo Akiyama is headed back to Japan.

Shogo Akiyama was never able to establish himself in the big leagues. After being signed by the Cincinnati Reds to a three-year/$21M contract in December of 2019, the coronavirus pandemic cut short Akiyama's first spring training in the states, and the outfielder's first major league season was compressed to just 60 games.

The following year saw Akiyama have to leave spring training in order to attend to his wife who was injured in a freak accident. When Akiyama returned to Goodyear, the outfielder injured his hamstring and began the 2021 season on the IL.

Akiyama never found a consistent spot in the lineup and was relegated to little more than defensive replacement late in games. Akiyama appeared in 88 games, but had just 183 plate appearances, the exact same number that he had in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.

During his Cincinnati Reds career, Shogo Akiyama posted a slash line of just .224/.320/.274 and never recorded a single home run during his two seasons in the Queen City. Akiyama was released this past spring and the Reds are still on the hook for his $8M salary in 2022.

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