Masataka Yoshida is on an absolute tear as he is currently in the middle of a 14-game hitting streak. Yoshida began 2023 with a rather slow start, with his average dipping under .200 around mid April. But after his performance in Milwaukee where he crushed two home runs in one inning, he has yet to cool down.
After turning it around over the last 14 games, Yoshida is batting .317/.400/.548 with six home runs and 24 runs batted in. He is also carrying a .402 xWOBA and a 9.2 strikeout percentage, which is within the top 2% of the MLB.
While this hot streak is only a small sample size, the improvement from his first couple weeks is substantial. The batting average was very down during his slump, but the numbers were still showing promising signs. Yoshida’s main issue during his rough first couple of weeks was the constant habit of pulling the ball. This resulted in almost every ball in play being shot right into the dirt. However, the exit velocity was still there, and he was still avoiding strikeouts at an elite level. This year, Yoshida has struck out only 11 times over his 120 plate appearances.
When Masataka Yoshida was signed during the Winter Meetings this past December, rival executives were eager to jump on the sox for overpaying for the Japanese phenom. The Red Sox signed Yoshida to a 5-year, $90M deal with a posting fee of $15M. The belief was that Yoshida would not be able to adjust to big league pitching compared to Japanese pitching. But after seeing his production over the last few weeks, it’s seeming that the Red Sox may have gotten Yoshida at a bargain.
Masataka Yoshida is Among Several Great Signings for Boston
This offseason was very crucial for Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer, Chaim Bloom. Of course 2022 being a last place season followed by the departure of Xander Bogaerts left a sour taste in the mouth of Red Sox fans. But in an offseason full of monster contracts, Bloom’s signings have been nothing but pleasing so far in 2023. Adam Duvall was the hottest hitter on earth before his untimely wrist injury which will leave him out for at least six more weeks. Justin Turner is one of the bright spots in this Red Sox lineup as he is serving as a dependable righty bat. And Kenley Jansen has firmly become the closing pitcher the Sox have been missing for a couple years now.
This Red Sox team is shaping up very nicely and they are shooting up the standings. After sweeping the Toronto Blue Jays, they are now in third in the AL East and are tied for fifth place for most wins in all the MLB. The young talent mixed with the supportive veteran presence in the clubhouse is becoming very fun to watch every night. And if Yoshida keeps hitting the way he is, we could see the first Red Sox Rookie of the Year since Dustin Pedroia.
The Red Sox face off against the Phillies in a three game series starting tonight in Philadelphia. Tonight’s game can be watched on NESN at 7:05pm EST.
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