Thursday, November 30, 2017

Ryota Arai

Ryota Arai of the Tigers is another player who retired at the end of the past season.  Arai was the fourth round pick of the Chunichi Dragons in the fall 2005 draft out of Komazawa University (which is also the alma mater of his brother Takahiro).  He debuted with the ichi-gun Dragons in the summer of 2006 and was a part time player with them through 2010.  He got traded to the Hanshin Tigers in the 2010-11 off season for Keisuke Mizuta which allowed him to become a teammate of his brother Takahiro.  He had really his only two seasons as a regular in 2012 and 2013 - he hit .280 with 11 home runs in 110 games in 2012 and .238 with 14 home runs in 119 games in 2013.  His playing time with the top team dropped off after that due to injuries and poor performance.  He played in two Nippon Series - winning in 2007 with the Dragons and losing in 2014 with the Tigers.

His BBM rookie cards are #64 in the 2006 Rookie Edition set and #284 in the 2006 1st Version set.  His first Calbee card didn't appear until 2013 (#106).

2006 BBM Rookie Edition #64

2006 BBM 1st Version #284

2007 BBM Nippon Series #S19

2011 BBM Tohto 80th Anniversary #49

2011 BBM 2nd Version #441

2013 Calbee #106

2017 BBM Tigers #T51

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