Masataka Yoshida probably could get by as an offense-only player. The Red Sox outfielder is that good of a hitter, which he showcased across the opening half of his first Major League Baseball season.
But Yoshida isn’t content with only being highly productive in the batter’s box. The 29-year-old is making a concerted effort to be a more well-rounded player.
Alex Cora revealed as much after Yoshida helped send the Red Sox into the MLB All-Star break on a high note. Serving as Boston’s designated hitter Sunday, Yoshida lifted a go-ahead, solo home run in the eighth inning at Fenway Park that carried the Red Sox to a series sweep of the Oakland Athletics.
After praising Yoshida’s impactful bat, Cora touched on the Japan native’s defensive aspirations.
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“The willingness to keep working and keep getting better, especially defensively, that’s something he really wants,” Cora told reporters, per The Boston Globe. “His first step, his routes, playing the wall: he keeps working with (Kyle Hudson) hard to accomplish that.”
Yoshida’s commitment to his craft certainly must be looked upon fondly by the Red Sox, who signed the four-time Nippon Professional Baseball All-Star to a five-year deal back in December. And if “Macho Man” turns into an above-average outfielder, that investment might end up looking like a steal for Boston.
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