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Shall we break the ‘bubble’ evaluation…Yoshida, a Japanese big leaguer, multi-hit performance as ‘the first 4th hitter in the opening game’

Were the eyes of the Boston Red Sox, who bet 90 million dollars (116.9 billion won) right? Masataka Yoshida (30), who welcomed the opening game of the first year of the Major League Baseball (MLB), showed an elaborate batting performance from the opening game, predicting an active season this season.

On the 31st (Korean time), Yoshida started as a 4th hitter and left fielder in the opening game against the 2023 MLB Baltimore Orioles held at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, and played an active role with 2 hits, 1 RBI and 1 point in 4 at-bats.

Yoshida is an MLB rookie. After the end of last season스포츠토토, he announced his entry into the big leagues through the posting system, and his contract was concluded when Boston offered him the highest amount of 5 years and 90 million dollars.

Yoshida is a hitter with a career batting average of 0.327 in Nippon Professional Baseball. He was not a home run hitter, with 133 career home runs in just seven seasons. He was consistent with more than 20 home runs, but he never hit 30 home runs. Naturally, it was expected that there would be limits to his batting productivity even after entering the MLB. His defense was also not outstanding. When Boston bet an amount close to $100 million on him, many evaluated it as ‘overpay’.

However, from the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC), the feeling of hitting is unusual. Yoshida recorded a total of 13 RBIs in the WBC tournament, which ended with Japan’s victory on the 22nd, and wrote a new record for the most RBIs in one WBC tournament.

The hot hitting feeling continued even after returning to Boston. Boston trusted him and used him as the number 4 hitter from the opening game. Yoshida is the first time a Japanese fielder has batted fourth in the opening game of his debut season. Power hitters such as Ichiro Suzuki, Hideki Matsui, and Shohei Ohtani, who advanced earlier, did not experience the 4th hitter in the opening game of their debut season.

He repaid his faith with a hit. At the end of the 6th inning, where he was far behind by 2-8, Yoshida hit a heavy hit at the right time in the situation of 1st and 2nd base unscathed. He hit his first hit in his MLB debut with a timely hit, showing himself as the fourth hitter. Then, at the end of the 8th inning, with one out and one on first base, he added a right-handed hit and even recorded a multi-hit.

However, despite his performance in the opening game, Yoshida could not laugh. Unlike the WBC Japan team, which won all-time, the team lost 9-10, so the first victory was postponed to the next game. 

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