MLB scouts often say that raw power is how far a batter can hit the ball, and game power refers to how often he can make good enough contact to clear the fence.
It’s a good way to differentiate both concepts.
The distinction is important because raw power doesn’t always translate to game power.
That’s what the Boston Red Sox would love to see with one of their new players: Masataka Yoshida.
The Japanese outfielder was signed this offseason, after several productive years in his country.
His main traits as a hitter are his contact and ability to get on base.
He is one of the rare players who can get more walks than strikeouts any given year.
His power wasn’t (or isn’t, depending on who you ask) expected to translate to the bigs, or at least not in a meaningful way.
But that may not be the case.
“Masataka Yoshida has surprised Red Sox hitting coach Pete Fatse with the power he’s shown so far. ‘He’s got a lot more juice than I thought… Just doing a lot of the work on video, some of the reports came back seeing upwards of 70 raw power in batting practice,'” MLB writer/producer Jamie Gatlin tweeted.
Masataka Yoshida has surprised Red Sox hitting coach Pete Fatse with the power he's shown so far.
“He’s got a lot more juice than I thought… Just doing a lot of the work on video, some of the reports came back seeing upwards of 70 raw power in batting pic.twitter.com/EIRrOd04Sd… https://t.co/8RvbqjuYEz
— Jamie Gatlin (@JamieGatlin17) February 23, 2023
70-grade raw power would be pretty significant, because he has the bat-to-ball skills necessary to take some of that stellar batting practice juice to games.
In Japan, Yoshida has 135 home runs in 781 games, which is not bad at all.
He has had seasons of 21 (last year), 26, and 29 round-trippers in his native country.
In other words, his power is nothing to sneeze at and he could conceivably hit 20 homers per year or so with the Sox.
That would be an amazing outcome for them, considering his other skills.
He has a chance to be a good one for Boston as they try to get out of the last place in the AL East.NEXT: Triston Casas Faced Backlash For A Must-See Reason