Masataka Yoshida played an instrumental role in the Boston Red Sox's recent eight-game winning streak, which included their first six contests of May.
Yoshida batted .480 from May 1-7, going 12-for-25 in six games in that span. He was named the American League Player of the Week, Major League Baseball announced on Monday, May 8.
The former Orix Buffaloes star, who signed a five-year deal with the Red Sox in December 2022, extended his hitting streak to 16 games on Sunday, May 7 against the Philadelphia Phillies. In his next game, he went 0-for-5 on Tuesday in a 9-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves.
Yoshida slugged two home runs and two doubles, scored seven runs and drove in eight runs last week. He opened the week with a 2-for-4 performance, followed by 2-for-3 and 2-for-5 outings in the next two games. And then he closed out the week with 3-for-5, 1-for-4 and 2-for-4 efforts in succession.
The 29-year-old outfielder is batting .308 with six homers and 24 RBIs through May 9.
During the 2023 World Baseball Classic in March, Yoshida drove in a tournament-record 13 runs, helping Japan win the title for the third time.
Manager Impressed with Yoshida's Hitting Ability
In a recent interview with the New England Sports Network's Ultimate Red Sox Show, Red Sox manager Alex Cora talked about Yoshida's adjustment to MLB pitching.
"I've been very impressed," Cora said. "It's a process, right? Hitting at this level is not easy, and regardless of who you are, he was great in Japan, but still you're facing the best of the best and you have to make some adjustments.
"But right now he's in a comfortable zone. He feels very relaxed at the plate."
Author: Ed Odeven