Triston Casas Has Unique Perspective On Red Sox Teammate Masataka Yoshida

Casas played against Yoshida in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics


February 2

There is a rather large quantity of unknowns when it comes to new Boston Red Sox outfielder Masataka Yoshida.

Much of what can be deciphered about Yoshida’s skill set comes from watching highlight reels of the seven seasons he played with Japan along with any information Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Blooms reveals about the 29-year-old from scouting reports.

But unlike a vast majority of players on the Red Sox, first baseman Triston Casas has seen Yoshida up close when the two faced off in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

While Casas didn’t know it at the time that he and Yoshida would later become teammates, the Red Sox prospect walked away from their encounter thinking very highly of the corner outfielder.

“I thought he was the most elite hitter in that lineup,” Casas said last month at Red Sox Winter Weekend. “I know (Seiya) Suzuki was in that lineup as well from the Cubs. When (Yoshida) stepped to the plate, his stature isn’t imposing, but his bat-to-ball skills are elite. His left-handed swing is really nice. I think it’s going to play great at our stadium.”

Japan and the United States squared off twice during the Olympics, including in the gold medal game which Japan won, 2-0. Both Casas and Yoshida batted in the third spot in the lineup for their respective sides in that contest.

Yoshida ended up having more success than Casas in that final game. The 5-foot-8 Yoshida went 2-for-4 and helped Japan add an insurance run with a single to center. Casas went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, but still had a strong tournament with three home runs.

The Red Sox surely hope what they and Casas saw from Yoshida transfers over to his first season in the major leagues. Yoshida, who inked a five-year deal worth a reported $90 million this offseason, was heralded for his stellar plate discipline as he looks to become a factor presumably at the top of the Red Sox’s lineup.

And everyone, not just Casas and the Red Sox, will have a better look at Yoshida and what exactly he can provide when Boston opens up Spring Training later this month.

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Thumbnail photo via Yukihito Taguchi/USA TODAY Sports Images
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