One-seventh of Seiya Suzuki…Challenging the Majors, Tadashi Yoshida: “Too severe a prediction of the outcome”. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

One-seventh of Seiya Suzuki…Challenging the Majors, Tadashi Yoshida: “Too severe a prediction of the outcome”.

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Yoshida (left) and his ace, Yoshinobu Yamamoto (right), greet fans at a parade in Osaka after winning Japan’s top division (Image: Kyodo News)

I have more than enough confidence that I can sign with the majors,” said Masanao Yoshida, 29, of the Orix, to the press.

On November 17, the Orix accepted Yoshida’s offer to try out for the majors through the posting system. The Yankees, Red Sox, Mariners, and others have expressed interest. Boras continued.

A player who strikes out a lot in Japan will strike out a lot more in the United States. That’s why contact hitters with a high on-base percentage are viewed more favorably in the majors. Yoshida has a proven track record and is in demand.

Demand as a No. 1 or No. 2 hitter

Certainly, Yoshida has a good pitch selection and a low strikeout rate. Yoshida’s walk/strikeout ratio is 1.95 (80 walks/41 strikeouts), the highest among the 12 teams, which means that for every strikeout, two walks are chosen. His on-base percentage has exceeded 40% for six consecutive years since 2005, his second year with the team, and he boasts a .327 batting average. Nachi Tomonari, a sports journalist and expert on the Major League Baseball, commented on the situation.

He will be in demand in the majors as a No. 1 or No. 2 hitter because of his high on-base percentage. I think the Twins, whose outfielders, Yoshida’s main job, have been declining noticeably, and their young players have been slow to develop, will try to acquire him. Yoshida would be a perfect addition to their lineup.

MLB TRADE RUMORS”, an MLB trade information site, announced that Seiya Suzuki, who joined the Cubs last offseason, will be paid $85 million over five years (about $118 million). The report says that the deal could exceed the $85 million (about 11.8 billion yen) contract of Seiya Suzuki, who joined the Cubs in the offseason last year. However, Tomonari’s prediction is severe. He said that even if a team were to try to acquire him, their valuation would be about one-seventh of Suzuki’s. “He would be a two-year, $12 million (approx. ¥11.8 billion) deal.

The price range is from two years and $12 million to three years and $20 million,” he said. Judge (Yankees) and Nimmo (Mets) are the top class outfielders on the FA market this offseason. Yoshida would be second class.”

Why is Yoshida’s reputation not as high as it should be? Tomonari continues, “There are two reasons.

There are two reasons. He played in 119 games this season, but only 39 of them were defensive games. Second, he has had many injuries, including back pain. This is also a reason for the lack of defensive opportunities.

Both of them are left-handed outfielders like Yoshida. The evaluation of Japanese outfielders has been relatively lowered.

If the majors’ evaluation does not match Yoshida’s hopes, there may be a harsh end in sight.

It is the same pattern as with Tomoyuki Sugano of the Giants. Sugano tried out for the majors using the posting system in the off-season of 2008, but he ended up staying with the Giants. There were teams interested in acquiring him, but they were unable to agree on terms such as a multi-year contract.

The reason why the conditions were not satisfactory was the back pain that Sugano was suffering from. The injury became a negative evaluation, similar to Yoshida. If a major league team’s thinking does not match his self-evaluation, I think there is a possibility that Yoshida will remain with Orix.

The deadline for posting an application is December 15. Will Yoshida be able to reach an agreement with a major league team that meets his conditions during the 45-day negotiation period?

  • Photo Kyodo News

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