Yankees slugger Aaron Judge isn’t the only player to break home run history in a single season in 2022. In Japan on Monday, Munetaka Murakami of the Tokyo Yakult Swallows hit his 56th home run of the season, breaking Sadaharu Oh’s longtime home run record. Japanese player. The first-place Swallows played their final regular season game on Monday.
Here is Murakami’s milestone, Homer:
Murakami had 13 games and 61 at-bats without a home run since. The 22-year-old third baseman finishes the season, his fourth full season with the Swallows, with a .317/.457/.706 batting line and those 56 homers. Strength didn’t come out of nowhere – Murakami hit 36, 28 and 39 home runs in the 2019-21 season.
Former Mariners and Reds outfielder Vladimir Balentien holds the Japanese Nippon Pro Baseball single-season record, hitting 60 home runs with the Swallows in 2013. Here is the all-time NPB home run leaderboard for a single season:
- Vladimir Balentien, Tokyo Yakult Swallows, 2013: 60
- Munetaka Murakami, Tokyo Yakult Swallows, 2022: 56
- Sadaharu Oh, Yomiuri Giants, 1964: 55
- Taffy Rhodes, 2001 Kintetsu Buffaloes: 55
- Alex Cabrera, 2002 A Thousand Lions: 55
Will Murakami ever play in the US? As we noted in August, “For those who are wondering, it’s unclear if Murakami has any hope of ever playing in America. It’s worth noting that MLB rules governing international free agents prevent him from earning his market value (he’s under 25 years old). and has less than six years of professional experience), suggesting that he will not be a candidate to come anytime soon, regardless of his intentions.”