Wladimir Balentien is back in Japanese baseball. Not at the highest level yet. In today’s Ni-Gun (Minor League) game vs the Chunichi Dragons, he made his presence felt.
After arriving in Japan in the end of March, Wladimir Balentien had to pass two weeks in quarintine. He joined the SoftBank Hawks on the thirteenth of this month. Eventually, after yesterday’s practice, today, the slugger got his first at-bat of the season in a Ni-Gun game between the farm teams of the SoftBank Hawks and the Chunichi Dragons in the Western League.
In his very first at-bat (as a DH in the third inning), he launched the second pitched he saw into the left field stands.
Last year, the slugger from Curaçao did not live up to the expectations with a batting average of .168, his lowest ever in the NPB. The SoftBank Hawks even sent him down to the minors. Despite his low batting average, Wladimir still managed to hit nine home runs and twenty-two RBI.