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Report: Bryce Harper-Obsessed Japanese Baseball Star Wants to Play for Phillies

Masataka Yoshida, an outfielder in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball league, reportedly wants to play for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Much like Seiya Suzuki during the 2021 Major League Baseball offseason, a new Japanese baseball star has announced he is ready to be posted.

This time, it's Orix Buffaloes outfielder Masataka Yoshida, per @GaijinBaseball on Twitter

Across seven seasons in the Nippon Professional Baseball league, the 29-year-old has hit .327 alongside a .960 OPS. He has a penchant for getting on base, reaching at an impressive .421 clip. He's also mashed 133 home runs, driven in 467 runs, and walked 421 times.

@GaijinBaseball also claims that Yoshida's preferred MLB team he'd like to play for is the Philadelphia Phillies. "Why?" you might ask, well, the left-handed hitter loves Bryce Harper.

Not only has Harper led his team to the World Series in the last month, but he may now draw a Japanese superstar to Philadelphia.

Given that Yoshida is an outfielder, though, he may not fit into the Phillies' future plans. They have Nick Castellanos locked up until 2026, Kyle Schwarber through 2025, and Brandon Marsh won't reach free agency until 2028.

There's also Yoshida's idol in Harper, who hopes to make a comeback to right field in the 2023 MLB season, with Castellanos likely taking over designated hitter duties. However, Harper's future in the outfield is uncertain. It's unknown if he will need surgery during the upcoming offseason to repair his UCL tear and what that recovery timetable will look like.

Additionally, the franchise has a history of being reluctant to sign international players. Maybe Yoshida's idolization of Harper and his reported desire to play for the organization will push them to change their minds.

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