Asia has a rich history of producing some of the best baseball players globally, and Mastaka Yoshida is no exception. As he becomes a major player on the Boston Red Sox team, many wonder who’s next from the Asian continent to make their mark in the MLB. In this article, we’ll explore some of the up-and-coming baseball stars from Asia who could end up in the MLB, or even on the Boston Red Sox team.
After Mastaka Yoshida, Who Are The Next Stars From Asia Who Could End Up In MLB (Or On The Red Sox?)
Asia has always been a frontier that has produced some of the most talented gems in the world of baseball. Names like Ichiro Suzuki, Hideki Matsui, and Hideo Nomo are sure to ring a bell. But as the game continues to globalize, the next generation of superstars is emerging from Asia. Following the success of Japanese outfielder Mastaka Yoshida, the MLB is turning their attention to the next crop of Asian talent. Here are some of the top prospects that could make their mark in the MLB and even potentially on the Boston Red Sox.
Shohei Ohtani has already made his mark in the MLB as a dual-threat player for the Los Angeles Angels. The 26-year-old Japanese right-handed pitcher and designated hitter has been one of the most exciting players to watch in recent years. As a pitcher, he has a career ERA of 3.20, with 374 strikeouts in 335.2 innings pitched. As a hitter, he has a batting average of .256, with 47 home runs and 137 RBIs.
With Ohtani already making a name for himself in the MLB, he could definitely be in the running for the next star from Asia. The only downside is that he’s unlikely to leave the Angels any time soon, given his extension with the team.
Ha-seong Kim is a 25-year-old infielder from South Korea. The young star has already made the jump to the MLB, signing with the San Diego Padres this offseason. Kim was in the KBO (Korean Baseball Organization) for seven years and established himself as one of the best shortstops in the league. In 2020, he hit .306 with 30 home runs and 109 RBIs.
He is a player that the Red Sox could be interested in the future if he becomes a free agent again. His power and versatility make him a great fit for a team that needs more depth in their infield.
Sung-Bum Na is a 31-year-old outfielder from South Korea. He’s currently playing for the Lotte Giants of the KBO. Na has been one of the best hitters in the league for several years, hitting at least 20 home runs in each of the last four seasons.
His age could make him less of a prospect, but don’t let it fool you. Na is still in his prime and could be a valuable outfielder in the MLB. The Red Sox have always been on the lookout for left-handed power-hitting outfielders, and Na could be a perfect fit in the future.
Hung-Chou Kuo, also known as Kun-Wei Ku, is a 19-year-old Taiwanese right-handed pitcher. He was signed by the Boston Red Sox in 2020 as an international free agent. Kuo has an impressive fastball that can reach up to 98 mph, coupled with a slider and a changeup. He’s still young and developing, but he has the potential to be an elite starting pitcher in the MLB.
It’s still early to tell, but Kuo could be a player to look out for in the future. As the Red Sox continue to destine themselves to target international prospects, Kuo could potentially become the next star from Asia.
Kwang-Hyun Kim is a 32-year-old left-handed pitcher from South Korea. In 2020, he signed a two-year deal with the St. Louis Cardinals after playing for the SK Wyverns of the KBO for 12 seasons.
Kim was a dominant pitcher in the KBO, winning the MVP award in 2018 with a 2.51 ERA and 180 strikeouts. He’s been a valuable asset to the Cardinals, posting a 1.62 ERA in 2020. If he continues to progress and adapt to the MLB, he could become one of the best pitchers in the league.
In conclusion, Asia has always been a hotbed for producing talented baseball players, and the next generation of stars is making their way to the highest level. These players, as well as many others, could potentially end up in the MLB and on the Boston Red Sox. Only time will tell which ones will live up to their potential and make a lasting impact on the league.