Following Ohtani Shohei (29, LA Angels), Masataka Yoshida (30, Boston Red Sox) joined the Japanese baseball team and made a decision.
Yoshida moved to Japan from Florida spring camp on the 3rd and joined last, and major leaguers who will participate in the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) gathered together to form a complete team. Yoshida will participate from the evaluation match against the Hanshin Tigers, which starts at the Osaka Dome on the 6th. Until last year, the Osaka Dome was the home stadium of Orix Buffaloes, Yoshida’s team.
Lefty hitter Yoshida’s share of the Japanese baseball team has increased. This is because Seiya Suzuki (29, Chicago Cubs), who has always kept the national team’s fourth hitter in the WBC-Premier 12-Olympic, has left due to injury.
There is already a shortage of right-handed hitters, but with the departure of Suzuki, the problem of left-right imbalance in the batting line inevitably deepens. In Japan, 9 out of 15 hitters are left-handed hitters. Japanese media said ahead of the Korea-Japan match (Tokyo Dome) on the 10th, “In the past, Korea attacked the Japanese lineup with left-handed pitchers such as Kim Gwang-hyun. This time, too, we will be using a large number of left-handed pitchers such as Koo Chang-mo and Lee Eui-ri.”
Although the burden is not as small as the high expectations, Yoshida expressed his determination to fulfill the given responsibilities. Yoshida said in an interview with the Japanese media after joining his national team, “It is the best baseball stage for an international competition. I will pour everything I have to show the power of Japanese baseball.”
Yoshida is a key resource that can have a big impact on the outcome of the WBC Korea-Japan match.
Yoshida, who led the team to victory last season with a home run to end game 5 of the Japan Series, ranked first in OPS (on-base percentage + slugging power) for the second year in a row in the Pacific League. Yoshida, who was recognized for his value, entered the MLB by signing a contract with the Boston Red Sox on the condition of a total of 90 million dollars (the highest amount for a Japanese fielder) for 5 years through the posting system. 메이저사이트
As a left-handed hitter, he has both sophistication and long hitting power, and is called ‘Japan’s Lee Jung-hoo’. Regarding the news of Yoshida’s contract at the Ilgu Awards ceremony in December of last year, Lee Jung-hoo said, “Yoshida is a player I refer to a lot.” there is.
Yoshida, who joined the Orix Buffaloes with the first overall pick in the 2015 draft, had a career batting average of 0.327 in 7 seasons in Nippon Professional Baseball. Except for his debut season, he hit 300 in all six seasons in a row. In the 2020-2021 season, he had more than 450 at bats for two consecutive seasons, but his strikeouts did not exceed 30.
MLB.com said, “He shows average hits and power in the league, and his on-base ability is elite. He averaged 22 home runs a year and recorded twice as many walks (210) as strikeouts (96) in his last three seasons. If he achieves this kind of performance in the major leagues, he can challenge for the MVP.” This is a part where you can get a glimpse of what level Yoshida, who is called Japan’s Lee Jung-hoo, is.