Yoshida has wholesome moment at introductory press conference


Masataka Yoshida was introduced as the newest member of the Boston Red Sox on Thursday. Judging by his press conference, it will be easy for fans to root for the Japanese star.

Yoshida, who signed a five-year contract worth $90 million, prepared an English introduction to his press conference despite not knowing how to speak the language.

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"Hi. I'm Masataka Yoshida. Nice to meet you," he said. "I'm 29 years old. I have played in Orix Buffaloes for seven years. I don't speak English. So nervous. I want to learn English and so do my daughters. I'm honored to be in Red Sox nation. I'll do my best. Thank you."

In addition to his bright personality, Yoshida should bring a solid bat to Boston's lineup. The outfielder slashed .335/.447/.551 with 21 homers and 89 RBI last season for the Orix Buffaloes of the Nippon Professional Baseball league. He tallied 82 walks to only 42 strikeouts in 2022 and led the NPB in on-base percentage in both of the last two seasons.

Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom says Yoshida's plate discipline and bat-to-ball skills were what made him such an attractive option in free agency.

 “We’ve watched Masataka for a while,” Bloom said Thursday. “For us, the thing that really stood out from all angles — from the scouting angle, from breaking down the performance — is just the quality of the at-bat. There’s a very unique combination of contact skills and strike-zone discipline, and an ability to impact the baseball that we feel has a chance to really impact the game at the Major League level.”

Yoshida presumably will play left field for the Red Sox while potentially spending time as the team's designated hitter. With Yoshida in left, Alex Verdugo likely would move over to right field.

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