How Many Japanese Baseball Players Are In The MLB?

How Many Japanese Baseball Players Are In The MLB

Baseball in Japan

Baseball is one of Japan’s most popular spectstory and participatory sports. It was introduced to Japan in 1872 as a school sport by Horace Wilson, an English teacher with the Shimbashi Athletic Club being established in 1878 as the country’s first organised adult team.

Over the years the country has been able to improve on their performance in  this unique fun filled sport and has been able to make it into the Major League Baseball game.



The Major League  Basweball Game.

The Major League Baseball is a professional  organisation and also the oldest League int he world. It coomprises of 30 teams with 15 in the National League and the remaining 15 in the American League.

The first instance for Japanese players playing in the MLB was in 1964 when the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) team, sent three exchange prospects to the United States to gain experience in MLB’s minor league system.

Japanese In The MLB

Although ther have been up to about 64 Japanese born player on the MLB, there are  seven(7) currently on MLB rosters. Here is a little profile of each player.

1. Yu Davish who started from Texas Rangers from 2012 to 2017, headed to Los Angeles Dodgers from 2017 to 2018, Chicago Cubs 2018 to 2020 and then San Diego Padres from 2021 till present. Yu made his debut to the MLB on April 9,2012. He is a starting Pitcher(SP) and has since played 212 games

2. Kenta Maeda. Kenta entered the MLB scene making his debut on April 6, 2016 where he was with the Los Angeles Dodgers until 2019. He moved to join the Minnesota Twins in 2020 and is currently  still with them. Kenta is a starting pitcher(SP) with 181 games.

3. Shohei Ohtani. An excellent Two Way Player(TWP) with 424 games to his credit, this young sports man made his debut on March 29, 2018 to the Los Angeles Angels and is currently still with this team.

4. Yusei Kikuchi. Seatle Mariners from 2019 to 2021, and Toronto Blue Jays till present. Yusei made his debut on March 21, 2019.

5.Yoshi Tsutsugo. Yoshi is a first Base man(1B) player with132 games. Starting at Tampa Bay on July 24, 2020. Los Angeles Dodgers in 2021, then Pittsburg Pirates 2021 till present.

6.Hirokazu Sawamura. Made his debut at the Boston Red Sox on April 2,2021 and is still active there. Hirokazu is a Relief Pitcher(RP) and has played 55games.

7.Seiya Suzuki. The newest on the block.making his debut this year, April 7,2022 at the Chicago Cubs. He is an OutFeilder(OF).