Boston Red Sox Japanese outfielder Masataka Yoshida (30) reported his first home run in his major league debut.
In the 2023 Major League Baseball home game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, which was played at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts, USA on the 4th (Korean time), Yoshida started as the fourth hitter in left field and hit a two-run home run in the first at-bat.
With one out and second base trailing 1-3, Pittsburgh right-hander starter Yohan Oviedo pushed a high 96.2 mile (154.8 km메이저놀이터) four-seam fastball from the outside of the second pitch to hit a tying two-run home run that went over the left 11.2m high fence Green Monster. Distance 390 feet (118.9 m).
In the 6th inning, with 2 outs and 1st base, he picked out a walk after a 6-pitch full count match with left-handed bullpen Rob Jastrizny. Multi-on-base game with 4 at-bats, 1 hit, 2 RBI and 1 walk. Up to this day, in the opening 4 games, he went 5 hits in 17 at-bats with a batting average of 2.94, 1 home run, 5 RBIs, 2 walks, 1 strikeout, and an OPS of .871, continuing his adaptation period smoothly.
However, Yoshida did not enjoy the joy of his first home run. According to ‘MLB.com’, in an interview after the game, Yoshida said, “The moment I got hit, I felt good. He said, “Everyone congratulated me on the home run,” he said about not receiving the first home run ball yet, “I hope the ball will come back someday, but it is more unfortunate that the team lost the game.” Boston lost to Pittsburgh 6-7 that day. Yoshida’s regret was greater as he could not even retrieve his first home run ball.
Yoshida, a right-handed and left-handed outfielder, is a top-notch hitter with a full swing despite his short stature of 173cm. After making his first-team debut with the Orix Buffaloes in 2016, he played an active role in Japan with a batting average of 3.27, 884 hits, 133 homers, 367 RBIs, an on-base percentage of .421, a slugging percentage of .539, and an OPS of .960 in 762 games in 7 seasons.
Yoshida, who showed off his peak skills by ranking first in the Pacific League batting average for two consecutive years from 2020 to 2021 and first in both on-base percentage and OPS for two consecutive years from 2021 to 2022, signed a five-year, $90 million contract with Boston in December of last year. Best treatment as a Japanese fielder who entered the major leagues. Boston also paid $15,375,000 for the posting fee to Orix, Yoshida’s former team.
In the World Baseball Classic (WBC) before the season, he played an active role with 9 hits in 22 at-bats, 9 hits, 2 home runs, 13 RBIs (1st place), 1.259 OPS, and led Japan to victory in all 7 games.