He could be the designated hitter, not the main ‘number 1-left fielder’.
A total of 90 million dollars for 5 years, an average annual salary of 18 million dollars. When Masataka Yoshida (29), the fourth hitter of the Orix Buffaloes, signed a contract with the Boston Red Sox, prospects emerged that the number one left fielder would be influential in the United States. Yoshida has a good pioneering eye, has few strikeouts, has excellent contact skills, and has power. He has a solid physique of 1m73 and 85kg, and has exceeded 20 homers four times in the past seven years, and recently hit 21 homers for two consecutive years. He hit 29, his own single-season high, in 2019. His career batting average is 3.27, with 133 career home runs. From 2020–2022, he got 210 walks while striking out 96 over three seasons. 스포츠토토
It is not easy for Yoshida to hit 20 home runs in the major leagues. Without exception, Japanese hitters who moved to the major leagues saw a significant reduction in home runs. The primary reason is the speed of the pitchers, who are 3 km per hour on average. Even though he said he could use Yoshida as a table setter, cleanup trio, and every batting order in the top line. This is the reason for predicting the lead-off appointment.
However, will Yoshida be able to take root as the main left fielder? He’s not a great defensive outfielder. Although he has won several titles, including batting champion, first on base percentage, best nine, and Japan Series MVP, and has won awards. He has never won the Golden Glove, given to outstanding defenders.
Recently, something happened that could affect Yoshida’s defensive position. JD Martinez, who played as a designated hitter in Boston, signed a contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 2018, he signed a five-year, $110 million contract with Boston.
Martinez is out of contract this year. He appeared in 139 games this season, posting a batting average of .274, 16 homers, 62 RBIs, and an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.790. He appeared as the designated hitter in all 139 games.
Naturally, it is possible to expect that Yoshida will fill Martinez’s vacancy. Even if he is not a professional designated hitter, it seems that his portion of designated hitters will increase. It may be effective to make Yoshida, who has a defensive anxiety element, focus on hitting.