Wladimir Balentien was known for his ability to hit long balls while stateside but the outfielder could never produce consistently at the the major league level.
Balentien, 29, headed to Japan and on Wednesday tied the Japansese record for home runs in a season with his 55th.
Sadaharu Oh set the record in 1964. It was equaled by former major leaguers Tuffy Rhodes (2001) and Alex Cabrera (2002) but neither were able to top it.
Balentien seems almost certain to break it with 21 regular season games remaining. A former prospect of the Seattle Mariners, Balentien signed with the Yakult Swallows in 2011 and hit 31 home runs in each of his first two season sin Japan.