Future Watch: Yoshi Tsutsugo Baseball Cards, Tampa Bay Rays – Yoshi Tsutsugo was signed by the Tampa Bay Rays in December 2019; but before he could get into spring training with his new club, the switch hitter returned to Japan due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The former Yokohoma BayStars slugger debuted with the club at the age of 18, but he only played in three games. It took him a while to get used to professional baseball in Japan, and using a wooden bat was a change for him as well; but by his fifth season, Tustsugo was following through on his promise, hitting hit 22 homers, 77 RBI, 24 doubles, and a .300 batting average in 114 games that year (2014).
The next season, Tustsugo increased his numbers, slugging 24 homers, driving in 95 and attaining a .309 batting average. The numbers led to him getting his first all-star nod. In 2016, Tustsugo hit 44 home runs with 110 RBI and was voted to the All-Star game again and this time won the game’s MVP award.
In 2017, Tustsugo appeared in the World Baseball Classic with Japan and was named the Pool B Most Valuable Player, hitting .364.
The Tsutsugo era ended after the 2019 season. Overall, Tustsugo was a five-time all-star, won three Central League “Best Nine” Awards and led Central in home runs and RBI (2016).
On July 24, 2020, Tustsugo made his long-awaited debut for the Rays. In the home-opening game, Tustsugo cracked a home run as his first hit. Here’s a look at that home run:
In total for 2020, Tsutsugo hit eight home runs and 24 RBI (second on the team in both categories) in 157 at-bats.
Collectors can find Tsutsugo’s North American rookie cards in 2020 Topps Update, Bowman Chrome, Triple Threads and many others. Collect him now. Tsutsugo went under the radar last season, but with his power, that won’t happen in 2021.
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Future Watch: Yoshi Tsutsugo Baseball Cards, Tampa Bay Rays – More Resources
- Yoshi Tsutsugo MLB.com Player Profile
- Yoshi Tsutsugo – Secondary Market Pricing
- Beckett Card Catalog – Yoshi Tsutsugo Baseball Cards
Future Watch: Yoshi Tsutsugo Baseball Cards – Image Gallery
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