CPBL Foreign Players Updates Volume #280
Rakuten Monkeys News: Sato Yoshinori
On July 1, the Rakuten Monkeys announced the signing of Sato Yoshinori (佐藤由規) as their new foreign pitcher. According to the team, he is set to arrive in Taiwan within the next few days.
The 33-year-old former NPB right-hander was one of the top high school prospects and was selected by the Tokyo Yakult Swallows as the first overall pick in the 2007 NPB draft.
Sato Yoshinori is perhaps best known for throwing 161 kph in the 2010 season, which made him the first Japanese player in NPB history to go over 160 kph in fastball velocity.
However, due to being overused during his time in high school, Sato Yoshinori spent a significant amount of time in his professional career dealing with injuries after 2011. In his 13-season NPB career, he compiled a 3.66 ERA and 1.37 WHIP over 534.1 innings.
At the end of the 2020 season, he left the NPB season. And the following year, he signed with the Musashi Bears of the Baseball Challenge League (One of Japan’s Independent League). Prior to his signing with the Rakuten Monkeys, Sato Yoshinori had a 2.44 ERA and 1.24 WHIP across 62.2 innings.
“We sent our scouts to watch Sato Yoshinori in the Baseball Challenge League, and we think his overall condition is good,” said the Monkeys farm director.
As of today, the Rakuten Monkeys currently have Elián Leyva, Bradin Hagens, Brooks Hall, Jake Dahlberg and Sato Yoshinori as their foreign players.
Foreign players comes and goes, therefore we compiled a foreign players tracker to keep track of all the foreign players signing for the 2023 CPBL season.