Cardinals have signed Japanese Superstar Tetsuto Yamada
(FTD, St. Louis)
January 16, 2021
Tetsuto Yamada the now-former Yakult Swallows second baseman, who has also been called Japan’s answer to Mike Trout, easily the most dynamic player in the Nippon Professional Baseball league has signed with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Yamada 28, comes to Major League Baseball as he enters the prime of his career. During his time as a professional Yamada has put up astonishing numbers. He is the only player in Japanese pro baseball history to bat .300 with at least 30 homers and 30 steals in more than one season. He now has produced four 30/30 (HR/SB) seasons with a 6.9 average WAR during his 9-year NPB career.
Yamada is not the most impressive physical specimen. He weighs just 163 points at 5’10” tall, a shorter, rail-thin player. Yet, despite his lack of size, he has a tremendously quick swing that generates immense power. Defensively, Yamada is essentially limited to second, but the glove is extremely talented. The zone range is off the charts, which will play at the next level. His offensive upside makes comparisons to Jose Altuve viable.
For the Cardinals General Manager, he was a player they couldn't miss on. "We targeted Tetsuto since day one. We as an organization feel he's a perfect fit with our Organization. We absolutely view him as a game-changer."
The 7-year deal worth 196 million dollars shows exactly how they feel about his value. He will become the top paid player within the organization. While the front half of the deal doesn't include any options, the back half of the contract does give the team wiggle room in terms of options. The formal Press Conference is scheduled for tomorrow at 12:00 pm(ct), the coverage will be on ESPN.