New Yomiuri Giant and star Taiwan outfielder Daikan Yoh said Monday he is thrilled to wear No. 2 for his new club, a number sandwiched between the digits worn by Hall of Famers Sadaharu Oh and Shigeo Nagashima.
“I’ll be in between great former Giants. While I am feeling the pressure, I want to play with confidence,” Yoh told a press conference on Monday — flocked by Taiwan media — as he was unveiled by his new Central League club.
“I’m really excited. I was pleased when general manager (Tatsuyoshi) Tsutsumi told me, ‘We need your help to win the pennant.’ I’d like to contribute with my speed, my hitting and my fielding.”
Yoh signed a five-year deal worth ¥1.5 billion (about $12.8 million) after going .293 with 61 RBIs in 130 games this past season to help the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters claim the Japan Series for the first time in a decade, before he filed for free agency.
The 29-year-old joined the Pacific League team in 2006 as a shortstop before becoming a four-time Golden-Glove winning center fielder. He led the PL in stolen bases in 2013.
Yoh initially looked set to stay in the PL after interest from the Orix Buffaloes and Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, but a strong late approach from Yomiuri changed his mind.
“He brings speed, defense and offense,” manager Yoshinobu Takahashi said. “I’ll want him to bat either first, third or fifth, the core spots in the order.”
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