Brent Sakurai is in his third season as a professional in 2019, all with the Grizzlies. He is the only returning position player on Gateway’s 2019 opening day roster.
Sakurai, who will turn 24 on July 1, hit .218 last year across 70 games. He had eight doubles and six stolen bases on 10 attempts. The Hawaiian shortstop also appeared in four blowout games as a pitcher for the Grizzlies and posted a 3.85 ERA (more than a run lower than Gateway’s 4.86 team ERA) over 4 2/3 innings with four strikeouts and no walks.
He batted .254 with four home runs and 21 RBIs in 52 games as a rookie in 2017 while playing both middle infield positions. After adjusting to the professional ranks, Sakurai torched opposing pitchers over the last three weeks of the season. In his final 22 games (starting Aug. 9, 2017), Sakurai hit .318 with four home runs, 16 RBIs, and 12 runs scored. He also added two doubles, a triple, five walks, and three steals on as many attempts.
He finished his college career at mid-major powerhouse New Mexico State, where he batted .377 as a senior in 2017.
FRONTIER LEAGUE CAREER HIGHS (single-game)
Hits: 3, twice; @ Lake Erie (July 31, 2018); vs. Joliet (July 27, 2017)
Runs: 2, five times; most recently: @ Lake Erie; Aug. 2, 2018
Extra-base hits: 2, vs. Evansville; Sept. 2, 2017
RBIs: 4, twice; vs. Evansville (Sept. 2, 2017); @ River City (Aug. 15, 2017)
Stolen bases: 2, twice; @ Evansville (June 28, 2018); vs. Normal (Aug. 20, 2017)