Profile: Yoshitomo Tsutsugo

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Yoshitomo Tsutsugo

Current status: Posting filed. On Tuesday, Oct. 29, he said he will seek a contract with a big league club via the posting system. According to Kyodo News, the BayStars in conjunction with the player’s agent want the posting period to coincide with the baseball winter meetings from Dec. 8 to 12.

Team: DeNA BayStars

Pos: LF Age: 27, he’ll be 28 on Nov. 26, 2019. Bats: L Height: 1.85 m Weight: 97 kg

NPB page

Honors: Best Nine (3)

League leader: HR (1), RBI (1)

Tsutsugo announced last winter that he would ask DeNA to post him after the 2019 season. Although he is not fast, he is a dependable left fielder and is seen as a potential first baseman or DH in MLB.

His home park, Yokohama Stadium, is one of Japan’s best hitters’ parks, and the big question seems to be whether Tsutsugo can generate enough offense to carry his weight at first or left field.

Although no one would pencil him in at third base except in an emergency, he did just that this summer, having barely played there in his career. He was not good, but that didn’t faze him. He kept hitting and gave it his best shot.

He is not a high average hitter, but according to data analysis site Delta Graphs ( ), Tsutsugo hit the ball as hard as anyone in Japan this year, with 45.4 percent of his balls in play rated as “hard contact,” although that’s a career high. He’s also one of Japan’s most consistent flyball hitters.

His leadership is something people are going to undervalue, making him a bargain for those teams not put off by his lack of arm strength, speed or familiarity with major league fastballs. He’s been the team captain and is perfectly suited to the somewhat looser environment installed by BayStars manager Alex Ramirez. He may not dance, but is a visible leader in the way Munenori Kawasaki was.

Change of heart

Since I started evaluating Tsutsugo ahead of his proposed move, I’ve had second thoughts about his possibilities and think that he can make the necessary adjustments — if a team commits to him and accepts his failing for a prolonged stretch.

Yoshitomo Tsutsugo career WS

YearTeamRaw WSBatting WSDef WS

writing & research on Japanese baseball