Yoshi Tsutsugo

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Yoshi Tsutsugo
Yoshi Tsutsugo (52057645818) (cropped).jpg
Tsutsugo with the Oklahoma City Dodgers in 2021
Texas Rangers
First baseman / Outfielder
Born: (1991-11-26) November 26, 1991 (age 31)
Hashimoto, Wakayama, Japan
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
Professional debut
NPB: October 5, 2010, for the Yokohama BayStars
MLB: July 24, 2020, for the Tampa Bay Rays
NPB statistics
Batting average.302
Home runs205
Runs batted in613
MLB statistics
(through 2022 season)
Batting average.197
Home runs18
Runs batted in75
Career highlights and awards
  • NPB All-Star (2015–2019)
  • Central League home run leader (2016)
  • Central League RBI leader (2016)
  • Central League Batting Champion (2016, 2018)
  • Central League OBP Leader (2016, 2018)
  • 3× Central League Best Nine Award (2015–2017)
  • NPB All-Star Game MVP (2016)
  • 2× NPB Home Run Derby winner (2015, 2018)

Yoshitomo "Yoshi" Tsutsugo (筒香 嘉智, Tsutsugō Yoshitomo, Japanese pronunciation: [tsɯ̥tsɯꜜɡoː joɕi̥tomo], born November 26, 1991) is a Japanese professional baseball outfielder and first baseman in the Texas Rangers organization. He has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Tampa Bay Rays, Los Angeles Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates and for the Yokohama BayStars/Yokohama DeNA BayStars of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB).[1] He was the youngest player in BayStars franchise history to reach 100, 150, and 200 home runs.[2][3][4][5] On July 22, 2016, Tsutsugo became the first player in Nippon Professional Baseball history to have three straight multiple home run games,[6] and in the same month he also became the first to have six multiple home run games in a month.[7]

Professional career[edit]

Yokohama BayStars (2010–2019)[edit]

Tsutsugo with the Baystars in 2014

Tsutsugo made his rookie debut at age 18 for the Yokohama BayStars and played 3 games in 2010. He played 40 games in 2011, 108 games in 2012 and 23 games in 2013. His slow start were caused by injuries and lack of experience using wooden bats in professional baseball. He became a regular on the team in the 2014 season and played in 114 games. He hit 22 home runs, drove in 77 RBIs, and hit .300 with an OBP of .373. In 2015, he was selected to his first NPB All-Star Game. He hit 24 home runs, drove in 95 runs, and hit .309 with an OBP of .395.[citation needed]

In 2016, he was selected to his second consecutive NPB All-Star Game and was the All-Star Game MVP. He led with Central League in home runs (44) and RBIs (110). He also had career highs in batting average (.322) and OBP (.430). Tsutsugo was selected to the next three NPB All-Star Games, winning the Kantosho (敢闘選手賞) or "Fighting Spirit Award" in all three appearances. In total, Tsutsugo appeared in five NPB All-Star Games from 2015 to 2019.

In January 2019, Tsutsugo gave a speech at the Foreign correspondents club of Japan where he criticized the harsh regimentation and focus on tournaments in youth baseball in Japan. In addition he stated that he would like to play in Major League Baseball in the future. After the 2019 season, on November 15, 2019, BayStars announced it was allowing Tsutsugo to enter the posting system to play in Major League Baseball (MLB).[8]

Tampa Bay Rays[edit]

On December 16, 2019, Tsutsugo signed a two-year, $12 million contract with the Tampa Bay Rays of Major League Baseball.[9] On March 25, 2020, he returned to Japan due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[10]

On July 24, 2020, Tsutsugo was the starting third baseman, making his MLB debut on Opening Day against the Toronto Blue Jays. That day, he recorded his first MLB hit, a home run off of Hyun-jin Ryu.[11] He finished the season hitting .197/.314/.395 with 8 home runs and 24 RBIs in 51 games.

On May 11, 2021, Tsutsugo was designated for assignment by the Rays after hitting .167 in 87 plate appearances.[12]

Los Angeles Dodgers[edit]

On May 15, 2021, Tsutsugo was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for cash considerations or a player to be named later.[13][14] He made his Dodgers debut on May 18 as the starting left fielder against the Arizona Diamondbacks. In 12 games with the Dodgers, Tsutsugo had three hits in 25 at-bats (.120 average) before being placed on the injured list with a right calf strain.[15] On July 7, he was passed through waivers and sent outright to the Triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers.[16] On August 14, the Dodgers released Tsutsugo.[17]

Pittsburgh Pirates[edit]

On August 16, 2021, he signed a major league contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and played his first game with the team on the same day. On November 24, 2021, he agreed to a one year contract with the Pirates for $4 million.[18][19] On August 3, 2022, Tsutsugo was designated for assignment. He was released on August 5.

Toronto Blue Jays[edit]

On August 15, 2022, Tsutsugo signed a minor league deal with the Toronto Blue Jays organization.[20] Tsutsugo was assigned to the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons, where he hit .265/.381/.459 with 5 home runs and 18 RBI. He elected free agency on November 10, 2022.

Texas Rangers[edit]

On January 15, 2023, Tsutsugo signed a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers organization.[21]

International career[edit]

Tsutsugo played for Japan national baseball team in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Tsutsugo was named the Pool B Most Valuable Player after batting .364.[22]

On August 20, 2018, he was selected for the 2018 MLB Japan All-Star Series,[23] but on October 26, 2018, he canceled his participation for Samurai Japan.[24]

Playing style[edit]

Tsutsugo was a switch hitter throughout his amateur school career until Yokohama High School, where he became a left-handed hitter due to a discovery of a herniated disc during medical examination.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "侍ジャパンマッチ2012 「日本代表 VS キューバ代表」日本代表メンバー". 日本野球機構. November 6, 2012. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
  2. ^ "DeNA筒香が通算150号 球団史上最年少". Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). Nikkan Sports Shimbun. May 24, 2018. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  3. ^ "DeNA筒香100号も空砲「負けたら意味ない」". Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). Nikkan Sports Shimbun. August 6, 2016. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  4. ^ Satō, Haruka (April 28, 2017). "驚異のハマモン!DeNA・筒香、球団史上最年少で通算100号". Sankei Sports (in Japanese). Sankei Shimbun. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  5. ^ Satō, Haruka (August 18, 2019). "DeNA・筒香、通算200+1号!球団史上最年少27歳で到達". Sankei Sports (in Japanese). Sankei Shimbun. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  6. ^ Tameda, Satoshi (July 23, 2016). "筒香バケモン3戦連続マルチ弾ポケモンは全クリなし". Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). Nikkan Sports Shimbun. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  7. ^ Nakamura, Fumika (July 30, 2016). "筒香、世界新だ!月間6度目1試合2発 10本差から山田抜いた". Sports Nippon (in Japanese). Sports Nippon Newspaper. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  8. ^ "筒香嘉智選手に関するポスティングシステム申請について". Baystars.co.jp (in Japanese). November 15, 2019. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  9. ^ "Rays finalize 2-year deal with Tsutsugo". Mlb.com. December 16, 2019. Retrieved December 16, 2019.
  10. ^ "「新しいものは作りにいってない」 筒香嘉智、同級生パートナーと日本で仕切り直し". Full-Count (in Japanese). March 26, 2020. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
  11. ^ Juan Toribio (July 25, 2020). "Yoshi notches 1st hit, 1st HR on same pitch". MLB.com. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  12. ^ Steve Adams (May 11, 2021). "Rays Designate Yoshi Tsutsugo For Assignment". MLB Trade Rumors. Retrieved July 7, 2021.
  13. ^ Mark Polishuk. "Dodgers Acquire Yoshi Tsutsugo From Rays". MLB Trade Rumors. Retrieved July 7, 2021.
  14. ^ "Dodgers acquire Yoshi Tsutsugo from Rays". Mlb.com. Retrieved July 7, 2021.
  15. ^ "Yoshi Tsutsugo Statistics & History". Baseball Reference.
  16. ^ Franco, Anthony (July 7, 2021). "Dodgers Outright Yoshi Tsutsugo". MLB Trade Rumors. Retrieved July 7, 2021.
  17. ^ Harris, Blake. "Yoshi Tsutsugo has been released". Twitter.
  18. ^ "Pirates sign Yoshi Tsutsugo, designate John Nogowski, Ka'ai Tom for assignment". Triblive.com. August 16, 2021.
  19. ^ "Pirates sign free agent Yoshi Tsutsugo". MLB.com. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  20. ^ "Report: Toronto Blue Jays sign Yoshi Tsutsugo to minor league deal". Bluejaysnation.com. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  21. ^ "Rangers' Yoshi Tsutsugo: Heading to Texas". cbssports.com. Retrieved January 15, 2023.
  22. ^ "Tsutsugoh named MVP of WBC '17 Pool B". MLB.com. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  23. ^ "「2018日米野球」出場選手6名、コーチングスタッフが決定". Japan-baseball.jp (in Japanese). August 20, 2018. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  24. ^ "「ENEOS侍ジャパンシリーズ2018」ならびに「2018日米野球」に出場するトップチームの出場選手の変更について". Japan-baseball.jp (in Japanese). October 26, 2018. Retrieved December 5, 2018.

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