Masato Yoshii
vs. the Mets
Masato Yoshii
vs. Other Teams
Game Log Pitching
Memories of
Masato Yoshii
Masato Yoshii
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 293 of 1043 players
Masato Yoshii
Born: April 20, 1965 at Osaka, Japan
Throws: Right Bats: Right
Height: 6.02 Weight: 210

Masato Yoshii was the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup on October 25, 2009.


First Mets game: April 5, 1998
Last Mets game: October 17, 1999

Share your memories of Masato Yoshii


Yoshitake Morikawa
He's not a really strong pitcher among the major league players. Maybe, he's average from the points of fastball and various breaking balls in MLB. Though, I like his aggressive attitude for getting victories for the team.

I was at Shea in '98 on the Sunday night when Yoshii faced El Duque and the Yanks. His splitter was absolutely unhittable. I never saw him pitch better. He gave the Mets the opportunity to win it in the bottom of the 9th on Luis Lopez's sac fly where Brian McRae almost got doubled up at first before the winning run scored.

I was also at Shea when Yoshii left an 81 mph change up belt high on the outer half to Sammy Sosa in the first inning of Merengue Night in '99. I think Sosa hit the ball to Nassau County. His ability to serve up the gopher ball makes him a huge liability in Colorado. I like Rusch as my 5th starter over Yoshii.

December 14, 2000
Say what you want about this guy but I liked him. He didn't start out to well in 99 but he ended strong. He was so clutch for us in the end. In August, he had great command and I felt happy for him that he was finally getting wins and winning over the hearts of alot of Mets fans. He was great and I have no clue why he was traded for Bobby M.

March 17, 2001
I don't care how he fares in Colorado....but why did the Mets trade him??????

May 2, 2001
Now we know why they traded him. Was so bad this spring Colorado released him outright. Now in the pen for the Expos.

Rich S.
November 12, 2001
A decent pitcher and a nice guy - pitched a lot of good games down the stretch in 99. At Mets photo day, he was the only player who really interacted with the fans and took pictures with them (including one with my then 4 year old daughter). He even autographed the picture and returned it when we mailed him a copy. Unfortunately, players like that are few and far between in today's game. Maybe they'll get him back as a 5th starter/long reliever. I'd rather root for someone like him than some other players, even if he doesn't hit 73 homers.

January 22, 2002
Yoshii is not a overpowering pitcher, he uses his mind to outsmart hitters

Phil K
January 30, 2002
I went to his 1st career game, he shut out the Rockies 7-0 in an outstanding performance. He was a great Met - interesting fact that either Gary Cohen or Howie Rose always had a terrible pronunciation of his name - He would say Yoshii stressing "shii" and not the "Yo".

Phil K
January 31, 2002
The first game was a shutout against the Pirates not the Rockies sorry about that.

March 20, 2002
He went through stretches when he was the Mets' best pitcher and was a good guy in the clutch. He also came across as a good guy that was happy to be here. The opposite of Hideki Irabu.

March 25, 2002
It is surprising that this guy has not been worth much of anything since being traded for Bobby Lefty Jones. I will never forget that he started (and pitched pretty well in) one of the best games that I will ever see, Game Five against Atlanta in 1999.

Jonathan Stern
November 21, 2002
Not exactly Mr. Inspiration, but he could pitch. No hard stuff, mostly brains. Probably would have been more successful a decade or so earlier, before all the players started scarfing down steroids. Those late 90's Mets teams wouldn't have done as well without him.

Max Heiliger
January 28, 2003
This guy was tough. He did not have great stuff but utilized what he had and combined it with intelligence to be a pretty good hitter. He would not give in to hitters and was tenacious in his pursuit of a win. Now I understand why the Japanese were so tough on Iwo Jima.

February 3, 2003
I always thought of him as a Japanese version of John Franco (If Franco was a starter) Terribly frustrating, and you sweated through every pitch this guy threw. He was also one of those under 85 mph junk ballers, except he lacked the finese you need to get away with the lack of power, he also always seemed to give up 4 runs a game as an average. He had a few really good games, but for the most part I always wondered if he would make it out of the 5th inning.

Gregory Gewirtz
April 4, 2003
Yoshii was a dime-a-dozen fifth starter. Nothing less, nothing more. We traded him as soon as we had better internal options for filling the last spot in the rotation, and got back two young arms, which is not bad considering the eminent replaceability of Yoshii.

jojo jr. shabadoo
April 16, 2003
Was a decent pitcher for us for about two years, but he came over to America late in his career. Even though we got nothing back for him, Yoshii was pretty much done. He's since fallen off the MLB radar. I believe he's slummin' it in the Expos bullpen.

April 24, 2003
The Crosstown Rivals get Godzilla and this is what we get. Mind you he has been the best of the crop of Japanese players we have gotten. Thats not saying very much. It just makes a Met fan want to scream.

July 30, 2003
I remember reading an article in the paper about Yoshii possibly not being in the 99 postseason roster. There was a quote from him that went along these lines, "If I'm not on the roster, I'll buy a ticket in the stands, have a beer, and yell, 'Bring in Yoshii!'"

Mr. Sparkle
July 5, 2005
The only Japanese player we've ever had that was worth a damn. And that's not saying much. He was at least a decent pitcher who you knew would keep you in the game and give you a decent start. He didn't have great stuff but he pitched well enough to be competitive.

December 23, 2005
I remember there was discussion of leaving him off the playoff roster in 1999 and a reporter asked him what he'd do if he was off the roster. His response was that he'd sit in the stands, drink a lot of beer and keep yelling: "Put in Yoshii". I liked him and was sorry to see him go.

March 3, 2006
After getting cut after 2004 season from the Orix Blue Wave in Japan, he re-signed with the same team for a LOT less money (about one-tenth of what he had made). Then he would shock everyone by promptly winning his first six decisions. I was at a 2005 game, when Yoshii beat the Marines led by Bobby V and Co., with former Mets like Benny Agbayani and Matt Franco.

At a tender age of 40 and counting, he does not have a great "stuff", but outsmarts his opponents and posts up "W"s for his team. I think he'd be a fine pitching coach someday.

July 21, 2007
Just found this site... Masato Yoshii, what a disaster... Boy do I miss him

John O'Hare
October 1, 2008
I remember a story about Yoshii. Valentine was talking to reporters about how Yoshii was adapting to pitching and living in the US, turned to Yoshii and said something like, "You understand more English, right?" to which Yoshii replied, "Si, senor."


scott r
February 11, 2009
Decent pitcher had some good games, some bad. I remember he started the playoff game against the Braves that Ventura won with the grand slam single, and said something about how the game was so long and intense, when it was over he had forgotten that he was the starter.

March 2, 2009
Masato Yoshii was a closer for the now-defunct Kintetsu Buffaloes (with teammates like Ben Oglivie, Ralph Bryant, Jim Traber, RJ Reynolds et al). In 1989, the Buffaloes was just about to clinch the pennant, except the manager let their stud reliever clinch it, and not Yoshii, who allegedly gave a tirade in clubhouse in midst of celebration, like "I've put up for this team for entire year, and the skip don't put me in there when it really means it!" (Reminded me of Ed Lynch's comment when he was traded in midst of 1986 season.) This was (and is) a totally unacceptable act by a Japanese player, publicly criticizing the manager's decision, and not only that he was just a youngster (seniority system at works, under Japanese system) - a punishment that could be worthed with an equivalent to death penalty under confines of Japanese baseball league. Well, he somehow escaped from his "death", made it to the Bigs, and now is the coach for the Nippon Ham Fighters (in Japan). Maybe he was smart enough to get by, to where he is, despite his tirade that could have led to fatality to his baseball career.

All in all, he is a character, which is a trait not so common with Japanese baseball players.

Bob Sherrer
October 18, 2015
Was at a game against the Giants and Yoshii walked to get on first base. Not long after that he was thrown out stealing second at a slow trot. Even Bobby Valentine was splitting a gut laughing. Anybody ever hear what his explanation was for trotting to second?

January 18, 2017
*Still* the best Japanese pitcher -- or player, for that matter -- in Mets history. Unreal.

To the poster from years ago: the correct Japanese pronunciation of his name is Yo-SHEE, not YO-shi. The double I makes it a long sound.

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