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Japanese batting champion Masataka Yoshida likely to join MLB free agent class, per report

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Masataka Yoshida, a two-time Nippon PBL champion, may be “submitted” by the Orix Buffaloes to Major League Baseball teams for consideration in the coming weeks. according to MLB.com. Yoshida will then have 30 days to work out an agreement with the team, with the Buffaloes receiving a compensation fee based on the total value of his contract. If he fails to reach an agreement with the MLB team, he will return to Japan for the 2023 season.

Yoshida, a 29-year-old left fielder, has played seven NPB seasons with rosters. He hit .326/.419/.538 career slashes, 135 home runs, and 21 stolen bases (on 31 attempts). Yoshida’s penchant for contact has allowed him to make 120 more moves than strikeouts in his career. Indeed, his career strikeout rate is just over 9.4 percent. For reference, Cleveland Guardians rookie outfielder Stephen Kwan has also struck out 9.4 percent of games at his plate (albeit only in 2022), the second most in major tournaments. (Luis Arráez has the lowest K score among large companies, at 7.1 percent.)

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Jason Koskri wrote the following about Yoshida for Baseball America in 2021.:

Yoshida has a good approach and decent strength. He has room to fill the plate, but his selective approach and ability to get on base serve him well. He doesn’t play a big role as a basestealer, but he moves well.

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Yoshida’s contractual desires are currently unclear. Last winter, Seiya Suzuki signed a five-year, $85 million contract with the Chicago Cubs. (Suzuki scored 116 OPS+ and scored two victories over a substitute in his rookie season.) Whatever the price and how it compares to Suzuki, Yoshida is unlikely to be the only NPB star to come to the majors this winter. Right-hander Kodai Senga, a member of the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, is also expected to cross the Pacific.

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Source: www.cbssports.com

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