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MLB free agent Masataka Yoshida called the ‘Japanese Juan Soto’ by 5-time All-Star

Jason Burgos

A former All-Star that has seen Masataka Yoshida play in person believes the Japanese star has a similar skill set to superstar outfielder Juan Soto.

MLB free agency is open and all of the top players on the market are either making trips around the country to be wined and dined or having chats on Zoom with organizations interested in giving them tens or hundreds of millions of dollars for many years ahead.

However, one player that has not officially jumped into the MLB free agent market, but is expected to very soon, is Orix Buffaloes outfielder Masataka Yoshida. His team from the Nippon Professional Baseball League is expected to post him in the near future and allow him to take his talents to MLB.

Related: MLB free agency rumors 2022 – Updating latest free agency news, rumors

However, when it comes to international talent — especially from Japan — there are many questions about how good they can truly be in the top baseball league in the world. Since there have been several hits and misses from the land of the rising son.

Well, a former multi-time All-Star who played in the NPBL recently has seen what Yoshida can do and is a believer in his high-level talents.

Adam Jones showers praise on MLB free agent Masataka Yoshida

masataka yoshida
Credit: Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, The Athletic published a piece on various opinions from around the baseball world on Yoshida, and one stood out in particular. That of former Baltimore Orioles star outfielder Adam Jones. The five-time All-Star played with Yoshida in 2020 and 2021 and believes he has comparable hitting abilities to one of the best outfielders currently in MLB.

“I say he’s like the Japanese Juan Soto. He can hit the ball to all fields, all speeds. Like Juan Soto, he hits everything — and walks. He doesn’t swing out of the zone.”

– Adam Jones on Yoshida
  • Masataka Yoshida stats (career): 7 seasons, 135 HR, 474 RBI, .326/.419/.538

Masataka is a former two-time batting champion in the NPBL. During his career, the 29-year-old left-handed hitter posted some impressive stats. Since 2018, he’s earned 746 hits with just 234 strikeouts and has a career slash line of .327/.421/.539.