SF Giants Sign Japanese Slugger To Contract

Hitting seven home runs in 11 minor league games will certainly get the attention of a big league club. With that, the San Francisco Giants have signed Yoshi Tsutsugo to a minor league deal.

The Japanese slugger put up some monstrous numbers in the Nippon Professional League back in his home country, with five 25+ home run seasons, including an insane 2016 in which he blasted 45 bombs with 111 RBIs, with a .322 average,  .432 on-base and an 1.116 OPS. 

He came to the U.S. in 2020 with the Tampa Bay Rays, but his success in Japan hasn't really translated just yet to North American ball. The 31-year-old has hit just .198 in 182 major league games, mainly with the Rays and the Pittsburgh Pirates, with 18 HR and 75 RBIs. In the minors, he's fared a little better, with a .266 average, an .863 OPS, along with 23 HR and 95 RBIs in just 440 at-bats. 

This latest scorching hot run with Long Island of the Independent Atlantic League has won the left-handed bat another crack with a major league organization. In 12 games there, he was hitting .359 with a 1.428 OPS. 

Primarily a first baseman, the Giants could give him a shot if their current 1B/DH lefty bats of  LaMonte Wade Jr. (.205 over last 30 games) and Joc Pederson  (.190 in last 15 games) continue to struggle. 

Photo: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports