To learn about the career of Japanese baseball player Masahiro Tanaka and his impressive career with the New York Yankees, simply continue reading. As you’ll discover a list of fun facts about Tanaka and his career playing for the Yankees.
Player Profile: Masahiro Tanaka
Tanaka was born and raised in Japan:
Masahiro Tanaka was born in Itami, Japan on the 1st of November, 1988. Tanaka quickly developed a love of baseball as a young boy and played baseball competitively as a high school student.
Masahiro Tanaka wife:
In 2012, Tanaka married his partner Mai Satoda. A successful Japanese singer and model. In fact, Mai is well known in her own right and once sung in a popular Japanese girl group named Country Museum. On the 15th of February, 2016 Tanaka and Satoda welcomed their first child. A baby boy.
Tanka played professional baseball in Japan before he shifted to the United States:
From 2008 to 2013 Tanaka played professional baseball in Japan for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. In 2006, Tanka was the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles’ first pick in the NPB amateur player draft.
Tanaka was scouted by MLB representatives in 2013:
In 2013 Tanaka was scouted by visiting MLB representatives, who were looking for talented international prospects. Through the MLB’s posting system, Tanaka’s club Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, decided to offer Tanaka to the MLB for the 2013-2014 off season. For a fee of $20 million US dollars. At which point all 30 MLB teams were notified that they would have 30 days to make a bid for the 25 year old professional Japanese baseball player.
Some of the teams which showed keen interest in Tanaka included the Dodgers, the Yankees, the Cubs, the White Sox and the Diamondbacks. However, Tanaka chose to sign a $155 million dollar contract, for 7 years with the New York Yankees.
Tanaka made his MLB debut in 2014:
A year later in 2014, Tanaka made his official MLB debut with the New York Yankees against the Toronto Blue Jays. During his debut Tanaka pitched 7 innings and achieved 8 strikeouts and the New York Yankees comfortably bet the Toronto Blue Jays 7-3.
Tanaka was selected to play for the Yankees’ starting lineup shortly after:
After his debut success, Masahiro Tanaka was selected to play for the Yankees’ starting line up for the first time, on the 9th of April, 2014. During this game Tanaka managed to strike out 10 batters, in just 7 innings.
By June 2014, Tanaka had tallied 100 strike outs:
Just a few months later in June, 2014, Tanaka reached his 100th strike out in the MLB.
Tanaka has played in two MLB All Star games:
Tanaka was lucky enough to be selected to play in not one but two MLB All Star Games. Proof that Tanaka is one of the New York Yankees’ most respected players.
So whether you’re a huge New York Yankees fan or you enjoy following the careers of international players who have been scouted into the MLB, it’s well worth following the career of Masahiro Tanaka. One of the best Japanese players of his generation.