Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters Wrap Up Spring Training In Arizona

By Casey Kuhn
Published: Saturday, February 13, 2016 - 5:05am
(Photo by Casey Kuhn - KJZZ)
The Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters at bat.

A Japanese baseball team will wrap up its spring training camp in Peoria on Monday.

The Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters partnered with the San Diego Padres to practice in Arizona this month, the first time since 1998 a Japanese team had trained in the United States.

Keith Werman with the Fighters said the pairing not only gives the Fighters access to top-notch facilities, it helps expand the Padres brand.

“Having those guys around one to build the relationship with our coaches but it also has the ability to grow the Padre name out in Japan, I think that’s very important and valuable to the club,” Werman said.

Werman said ace Fighters pitcher Shohei Otani drew 50 scouts from 15 different MLB teams when he pitched Wednesday.

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