Well this is fun! In addition to starter Kodai Senga and flamethrower Shuntaro Fujinami, the NPB will be exporting 28-year-old, two-time batting champion Masataka Yoshida to Major League Baseball this offseason.
And this dude has put up video game numbers in Japan.
This past season, Yoshida slashed .336/.449/.559, which is the second time he’s hit .336 for a full season … and he hit .351 one year too. Meanwhile, his OBP hasn’t been below .400 since his rookie debut at 22-years-old and he’s hit 20+ homers and 20+ doubles in the same season four times in basically five full and two partial seasons.
Here’s a look at his career numbers via Baseball Reference.
Yoshida plays the field as a righty, but is a left-handed hitter at the plate, which *is* something we know the Cubs are likely seeking to improve this offseason. Unfortunately, he’s a corner outfielder, so I’m not particularly convinced he’ll be a Cubs target this offseason, absent some unexpected series of moves/trades, probably with respect to Ian Happ (You never know what’s going to happen … maybe the Cubs just really love his bat and figure the rest out later … but as of right now, it just seems difficult to imagine him as a Cubs target).
But even if not, his availability will impact the rest of the market, especially the outfield, where there are some theoretical Cubs targets like Brandon Nimmo.
In the meantime, Jon Morosi has the Yankees as a potential early suitor, and I’ll leave you with this: