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SOFTBANK HAWKS

Written by Muka

NOTE: THE INFORMATION BELOW WAS BASED ON THE DEFAULT "OUT OF THE BOX" VERSION. IN 2010 THERE WERE 3 PATCHES WHICH WERE BASICALLY ROSTER UPDATES. THUS, IF YOU ARE RUNNING A FULLY PATCHED GAME THIS INFORMATION WILL NOT BE 100% ACCURATE BECAUSE SOME PLAYERS MOVED TO DIFFERENT TEAMS.

They have a bit of everything ! A really good ace, some great bullpen guys, dynamic high speed 1-2 hitters, some aging sluggers, and so on. Overall I think they are a very fun choice for season mode (I am also using the Hawks myself in pennant) and this post will be REALLY LONG since, well, I like using them!

Default Line-up

1. Honda - #46 - 2B
2. Kawasaki - #52 - SS
3. Ortiz - #49 - LF
4. Kokubo - #9 - 1B
5. Matsunaka - #3 - DH
6. Tamura V - #6 - CF
7. Hasegawa - #30 - RF
8. Tanoue - #70 - C
9. Matsuda - #5 - 3B

Notable hitters: Kawada is hitting lead-off in real life and Honda 2nd, so swap them in your game too if you want. They are very similar players with the same great speed and gold glove calibur defense at their respective position. Kawasak is better at contact and good at stealing (Steal + 1), but Honda is better at chance hitting and has an even better base stealing skill (Steal +2). Just to give you an idea of their style, Kawasakihad 44 SB in 2009 and Honda had 43. They both have the opposite field contact skill so use the O button and enjoy all your singles into left field. Kawasaki idolizes Ichiro and they have become good friends/teacher-student. They train together every spring in Japan and his jersey number 52 is also a tribute to Ichiro's 51 as he wants to follow in Ichiro!|s footstep. If you see some Ichiro-like follow-throughs and animation from Kawasaki in PYS 2010, now you know why!

Kokubo is pretty good guy for RBIs. He has the arch ability (which allows the hitter the hit high flyballs that stays in the air longer) for hitting homeruns, Chance +1, and also the skill Strong Presence which causes pitchers to suffer a drop in abilities when facing Kokubo in a chance situation.

Matsunaka is sorta like Japan's David Ortiz. He was the most feared hitter in the country just a few years ago but has dramatically declined due to injuries and age. He actually won the Triple Crown in 2004 (leading the league in HR/AVG/RBI) hitting .358, 44 HR, and 120 RBI but you probably can't tell looking at his in-game ratings. He has the Pull ability and the Arch ability and even a unique defensive shift called the Matsunaka Shift against him since he pulls so much. He may also the slowest guy in the entire game with a G speed.

Hasegawa was a breakout young player from last season and he is rewarded with high contact and the Average Hitter ability in this year!|s game, meaning his hits will more easily become solid line-drives. However his defense in right is only a E so he might cause you a few runs on defense.

Finally Tanoue, the most powerful #8 hitter in the whole game. He is the only guy with the pure Power Hitter skill in the lineup but his meet is pretty weak and also his defense at Catcher is below average.

Pitching Staff

Ace #47 Sugiuchi is a beast. Oh he is so fun to use. His fastball, change-up, and curve/slurve pitch are all top pitches. You can attack in the strike zone with the fastball, then throw intentional balls below the strike zone with the change and slurve and the CPU, even on Hard+ or perfect, will chase all day long and embarrass themselves. This guy is basically an automatic 10 strike-outs complete game shut-out possibility every game. SO MUCH FUN TO USE. PS: he is also this damn good in real life

As for the other guys, Holton is rated very highly in this year's game so he is a clear #2 in the rotation. But after him the other starters are really hit and miss. I really suggest dumping 1 of the #5 or #6 starter and bring up #17 Ohba from the minor league. He has much greater potential than either guy when you awaken him. Also hidden away in the minor league roster is #66 Saitoh. He used to be one of Japan's best pitchers from 2002-07 but injures have pretty much destroyed him and he hasn't pitched in 2 years. If you have the patience to awake him 2 times or Max(which will take quite a long time in season mode; probably easier if you just buy the upgrades in VP shop, edit him into your team, then start the season with the edited team) his abilities will go back to respectable but still not quite close to his prime-days.

Bullpen

A triple threat in the bullpen, all with great stuff:

#50 Settsu: the real life 2009 Rookie of the Year. He has 3 great pitches all rated C as well as good skills like Pinch +1. If you don!|t care about realism, just make him your closer in your game and never worry about blowing a save again.

#25 Falkenborg: set-up man in real life. His A-rated fastball and his unbelievable curveball really stand out in my mind but he also has a good forkball as a third pitch. Another near unhittable guy and closer candidate if you don't care about mimicking real life.

#14 Mahara: He is the closer in real life but in-game he is not as good as either Settsu or Falkenborg. His fastball is still above average at C and his forkball is B with huge break but the other 2 guys have so much more quality options that Mahara doesn't have. The developers also gave him some skills that a closer would not want such as Easily Rattled, inconsistent fastball speed, and Quick 1 (meaning a longer stride allowing easier steals).