On Sunday, the Rangers signed Japanese slugger Yoshi Tsutsugo to a minor league contract. Over the past three seasons, Tsutsugo has played for the Rays, Dodgers, and Pirates.
Before coming to the United States, the 31-year-old played 10 years in Nippon Professional Baseball with the Yokohama Bay Stars.
Tsutsugo led all hitters in Japan after hitting 139 homers for the Bay Stars from 2016-19 while slashing .285/.382/.528 with a .910 OPS.
Once the slugger came to the states in 2022, he failed to dominate as well as he did in Japan.
Tsutsugo is a .198/.291/.339/.630 hitter over 640 MLB plate appearances. He also has 18 homers and 74 walks.
While on the Dodgers in 2021, he played in 21 games. He slashed .120/.290/.120 with a .410 OPS with a total of zero home runs, two RBIs, three hits, and two runs over 31 plate appearances and 25 ABs.
Yoshi was then hit with a right calf strain injury and was placed on the 10-day injured list. After his rehab assignment to Oklahoma City, LA activated him in July 2021, but was then released by the OKC Dodgers in August 2021.
In 2022, Tsutsugo had just .478 OPS over 193 plate appearances with -1.3 fWAR. After the Pirates released the outfielder in August, Tsutsugo signed a minor league deal with the Blue Jays, but Toronto did not call him back up to the majors.
As Tsutsugo prepares to play with the Rangers, his deal also includes an invitation to the Rangers’ big league Spring Training camp. After little success with his previous major league teams, Tsutsugo will look to gain traction with Texas, where the team can utilize him for depth in the left field.
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