Lonichiro

Ask anyone who the greatest LOWBALLer of all time is and, undoubtedly, Lonichiro will come up in the conversation. After all, his name is attached to just about every honor that can be bestowed to a big-time LOWBALLer. He’s a 3-Time Wiffltober Champion – nobody’s lips have touched the Chalice more than Lonichiro. Why? His fielding, pitching and hitting are all above average but it’s the passion he brings game in and game out that has made him a giant of the sport. If he were to walk away today his accomplishments would surely be enough to get him into LOWBALL’s Hall of Fame.

However, his 2009 season has been horrid. His range in the hot box has deteriorated, his throwing to the Thing has been almost comically bad, his once thunderous bat has gone silent and we’ve only seen glimpses of his pitching prowess. It’s been so bad that the Lager’s, straddled by his enormous salary, were forced to release him in early June. It’s hard to count him out but this scout feels there is something physically wrong with Lonichiro – most likely the throwing shoulder.

Lonichiro is currently playing in the Independent League with the Norwark Nutterbutter’s . All indications are that he’ll sign an incentive laden deal with the Logger’s before the Mid-Summer Classic. His play in the second half will surely be one of the more compelling story lines of the season.

1 - Hall of Fame
Home Field: 
Wifftober Participation: 
I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX
Awards: 

2007 LowBaller of the Year, 2007 Summer Classic Champion, 2007 Wifftober Champion, 2008 Wifftober Champion, 2009 Astroglide Smooth Defense, 2009 Wifftober Champion, 2010 Summer Classic Champion, 2011 Astroglide Slick Defense, 2013 Wifftober Champion, 2013 Wifftober Player of the Game, 2013 LowBaller of the Year, 2015 Wifftober Champion, 2015 Wifftober MVP

Socks: 

Lonichiro is never one to be seen at a game without costume. He looks good in any uniform but is most recognized by his trademark ORIX jersey. He brought #51 to the states after a dominating career in Japan.

Batting: 

A tenacious hitter from both sides of the plate. Lonichiro covers the zone well and can spray the ball to all fields. He will consistently work the count and grinds his way through an at bat until he finds a pitch he can handle. Lonichiro is not known for his power but he has a knack for the timely long ball.

Pitching: 

Lonichiro has two primary pitches: a breaking ball that runs inside on a righty and then sharply breaks over the plate and a cutting sinker. He has a harder time driving the cutter down but when it bites it complements the breaking pitch well. He has above average velocity and sharp breaking movement. His K to BB ratio has improved over the past few years – not unlike many Lowballers’ – but he can lose his control at times.

Fielding: 

Look, this guy is the Astroglide poster boy. Lonichiro is hands down the best fielder we’ve ever seen on the plastic diamond. He has a flare for the dramatic and has made more highlight plays than the just about everyone else combined. He has quick feet, soft hands and is a pitchers best friend when in the Hot Box. His outfield work is equally brilliant with plenty of dashing and diving plays. No foul ball is safe when Lonichiro is prowling the field. This guy has owned defense year in and year out – which makes his troubles this year so puzzling.

Lonichiro has been LOWBALL’s best athlete with special physical gifts that make him a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame - but it’s the intangibles that make him such a special player. He has a tenacity and joy for the sport that is unmatched; which is why his name is etched perennially on LOWBALL’s most coveted trophies.
There are two questions every LOWBALL fan will be asking this summer. 1. Is Lonichiro’s passion for the game masking what could be a serious injury?
2. Will he come thundering back to snatch more bling with the Loggers?
My money is on the latter. Stay tuned.