Masataka Yoshida spent the first handful of weeks this season figuring out the challenge that is hitting at the Major League Baseball level.
A mere few months later, Yoshida’s Red Sox teammates now are learning from the first-year big leaguer.
Expectations were set for Yoshida in mid-December when he signed a lucrative five-year deal with Boston. But the 30-year-old has managed to exceed those outlooks, quickly establishing himself as one of the most well-rounded hitters on the Red Sox roster. Yoshida tacked on another high-impact performance Sunday when he collected three hits — including a grand slam and a two-run triple — in Boston’s series-clinching win over the Chicago Cubs.
Yoshida, to put it simply, is a professional hitter, and his contributions to the Red Sox are going beyond what he delivers to the box score.
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“I think we all learn from his approach,” Red Sox first baseman Triston Casas told reporters Sunday, per MassLive. “He’s spraying the ball all over the field, having really quality at-bats every single time. Not chasing out of the zone, putting the ball in play. He’s all-around one of the best hitters in the league obviously for average.”
Casas added: “I think we’re all taking notes from him. We all wish we could talk to him a little bit more, pick his brain, get inside of what he’s thinking. But he relays as much as he can to us. And we’re really happy about having him on our side.”
Yoshida, who logged multiple hits in nine of his last 10 games, will try to maintain his torrid pace Monday when the Red Sox kick off a three-game series in Oakland. NESN’s full coverage of the opener begins at 8:30 p.m. ET.
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