Yoshida Masataka (30‧ Boston) is a player whose controversy has not ceased from the time of the contract until now. His good contact ability and some strength have been fully proven in Japanese professional baseball. However, when including the total amount of 90 million dollars (approximately 120 billion won) for 5 years and the amount of posting, the investment of more than 100 million dollars is constantly pointed out as ‘excessive’.
His stellar performance in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) seemed to lessen the controversy, but it’s still controversial after the season. His objectively revealed performance clearly falls short of expectations. However, there are strong counterarguments that Yoshida will rebound after seeing detailed indicators.
Yoshida has a batting average of 0.213, 1 home run, 9 RBIs, and an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.619 in 16 games of the season until the 23rd (Korean time). No team would invest $90 million over 5 years to see an OPS of 0.619. Of his 13 hits, he had only two doubles and one home run. His basic batting average is down, but he seldom hits the ball.
In fact, Yoshida’s average exit speed is low at 85.4 miles per hour (about 137.4 km). He is in the bottom 10% of the league. On top of that, his average launch angle is -1.7, which is serious. That’s why there were so many ground balls. He also fell short of expectations with a hard hit rate of 35.8%, which means hitting balls over 95 miles (about 152.9 km). All in all, he’s literally bad at batting. This acts as a negative perception of future results. 메이저놀이터
However, there are opinions that this is an adaptation stage and there is no need to worry. Jim Borden, who served as a columnist for the North American sports media ‘The Athletic’ and served as general manager in Washington and Cincinnati, was asked in the question and answer section with readers on the 23rd, ‘Are we in a situation to worry about Yoshida?’ I don’t think so,’ she affirmed.
“Although I don’t know how much his strength will work in MLB, I’ve seen enough evidence that Yoshida will ultimately hit,” Borden said. “You have to keep in mind that he’s in a difficult cultural shift. “I’m moving to another country, learning about a new community, adapting to a new language, maybe eating a different food,” he said, emphasizing that this is a time to adjust on and off the ballpark.
Following this, Borden predicted a gradual rebound, saying, “If given time to play through this adaptation, I think Yoshida will hit 15 to 18 home runs and a batting average of 0.270 or more in the season.”
It’s not just bad detail metrics. Yoshida is relatively calm on the ball. Yoshida is picking out as many walks as he strikes out. His strikeout rate of 11.3% is in the top 5% of the league. On top of that, the swing miss rate of 19.2% is also low. It is in the top 23% of the league. He’s also been relatively patient with balls out of the strike zone. If you look at the starting pitch itself at the plate, you can see that he is not a hitter on the Mendoza line.
The key is coping with the changing ball. Yoshida handles his fastball well, except for his cutter. He was strong with a 0.303 batting average against the fastball system, and didn’t have many misses. On the other hand, his batting average against breaking balls such as sliders and curveballs is just 0.067. Off-speed pitches such as changeups have no hits as of yet with no hits in 9 at-bats. It remains to be seen if the pitching plan he maintains well will lead to hits.