Red Sox

‘Such a good hitter’: Masataka Yoshida is making his presence felt with the Red Sox

"I’m glad that we took a chance," manager Alex Cora said.

Masataka Yoshida is hitting .316 this season. Winslow Townson/Getty Images

Manager Alex Cora knew there were some question marks surrounding Masataka Yoshida when the Red Sox brought him aboard.

His talent was undeniable, but it remained to be seen whether his tendencies would translate to Major League Baseball. One unknown, for instance, was whether Yoshida could consistently hit high fastballs at this level.

Cora credited his colleagues for scouting him well and believing in both the player and the person.

“I’m glad that we took a chance,” Cora said.

Yoshida has silenced the naysayers all season, and Sunday, he did so once again. He launched a 95-mile-per-hour fastball that was outside the strike zone over the Green Monster in the eighth inning to pave the way for a 4-3 Red Sox win over the Athletics at Fenway Park.


“That was awesome,” Yoshida said, through a translator. “I think that’s the best result I could have thought of.”

He finished the day 2-for-4 with two runs and his 10th homer, recording multiple hits for the seventh consecutive game – the longest such streak in baseball this season. Yoshida is the first Red Sox rookie to reach that milestone since Johnny Pesky in 1942.

He also singled, stole a base, hustled to third on a throwing error, and scored the tying run Sunday.

On the season, Yoshida is hitting .316, with 19 doubles, 44 RBIs, 27 walks, six steals, and a 10 percent strikeout rate. The 29-year-old outfielder has had clutch moments like this one along the way, but his steadiness is what’s stuck out the most.

“Masa is just such a good hitter,” Cora said.

He had a scorching May, hitting .354, and has dominated in July with a .480 average. It understandably took a bit of time to get situated, but now that he has, he’s emerging as one of baseball’s most dependable hitters.

Yoshida said he’s grateful to have stayed healthy in the first half of the season. He’s looking forward to some family time over the All-Star break, then returning to pick up where the Red Sox left off.


“The only thing I can do is prepare well,” Yoshida said. “That’s one of my goals for the second half of the season.”


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