NPB: OF Franmil Reyes Signs With Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters

Franmil Reyes of the Kansas City Royals hits a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning against the Texas Rangers at Kauffman Stadium on April 19, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network

Designated hitter and outfielder Franmil Reyes signed a $1 million contract with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters in Nippon Professional Baseball for the 2024 regular season, Jose Antonio Mena reported on Saturday. 

Reyes, 28, was born in Sabana Grande de Palenque, Dominican Republic, and has played six seasons in Major League Baseball with the San Diego Padres from 2018-19, the Cleveland Indians/Guardians from 2019-22, the Chicago Cubs in 2022, and the Kansas City Royals in 2023. 

Reyes is currently playing with Leones del Escogido in LIDOM during the 2023-24 winter league season and has played 42 games, batting .296 over 167 plate appearances with 45 hits, 11 doubles, nine home runs, 34 RBI, 14 walks, 43 strikeouts, and a .899 OPS. 

Last season, Reyes began his 2023 campaign with the Royals, signing as a free agent to a minor league contract on Feb. 18, 2023. Reyes started the season in Kansas City and played in 19 games, batting .186 with 11 hits, two home runs, seven RBI, four walks, and 24 strikeouts before being optioned to Triple-A Omaha on May 2. 

Reyes played in four games with Triple-A Omaha and batted .200 with three hits, one double, one home run, four RBI, one walk, and seven strikeouts prior to being designated for assignment on May 8. He elected free agency on May 11. 

Reyes signed with the Washington Nationals on May 18 and was assigned to Triple-A Rochester the next day. 

Reyes played in 34 games with Triple-A Rochester, hitting .219 over 149 plate appearances with 28 hits, four doubles, one triple, five home runs, 19 RBI, 20 walks, and 36 strikeouts. He was placed on the seven-day injured list with an undisclosed injury on July 25 and was later released by the Nationals organization on Aug. 11.

In 2022, Reyes played with the Guardians and Cubs. Reyes played in 70 games in Cleveland, hitting .213 in 280 plate appearances with 56 hits, nine doubles, nine home runs, 28 RBI, 14 walks, 104 strikeouts and a .603 OPS before being designated for assignment on Aug. 6, 2022. Reyes in 2022 also played in eight games with Triple-A Columbus and batted .313 with 35 plate appearances recording 10 hits, two doubles, two home runs, seven RBI, two walks, and seven strikeouts. 

He was claimed off waivers from the Cubs on August 8, 2022. Reyes played in 48 games in the north side hitting .234 with 193 plate appearances recording 41 hits, eight doubles, two triples, five home runs, 19 RBI, 16 walks, 53 strikeouts, and a .689 OPS. 

Reyes has played five seasons in the winter leagues with Leones del Escogido from 2014-16, 2018-2019, 2022-23, and 2023-24, appearing in 81 games and batting .315 over 315 plate appearances, knocking 89 hits, 17 doubles, 13 home runs, 44 RBI, 31 walks, and 69 strikeouts with a .893 OPS. 

In six seasons in MLB, Reyes has played in 548 games with a lifetime average of .249 recording 468 hits, 73 doubles, four triples, 108 home runs, 285 RBI, 172 walks, 635 strikeouts, and a .775 OPS. 

The Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters finished in last place of the Pacific League during the 2023 NPB season with their record at 60-82-1. 

The Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters will play their first game of the 2024 NPB regular season at home against the Chiba Lotte Marines at Es Con Field on March 29. Nippon Professional Baseball’s teams will report to training camp during the middle of January for the 2024 regular season.

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