Nakata Eyes Cleanup Role With Samurai

Nakata eyes cleanup role with SamuraiHokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters slugger Sho Nakata has dreams of playing in the major leagues.

And with the upcoming U.S.-Japan All-Star Series, he’ll have the opportunity to showcase himself against big league talent.

“It has its appeal, and I’m considering it,” Nakata said about playing in the majors. “I wonder what style of baseball they play, and I’d really like to know what kind of power hitters there are.”

The five-game series against the MLB All-Stars starts on Nov. 12 and will provide the stage.

Nakata in two Pacific League Climax Series stages hit five home runs — including four homers in as many games over one stretch — in nine postseason games. Each of the blasts came at pivotal times in the games and helped decide the outcome.