Over the past decade, Asian MLB (Major League Baseball) players made a lasting impression on the game. New stars are born from the East every year because of their grace and talent.

Most MLB players are Asians, mainly from Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. Despite this, it seems that there are a lot of players who excel in major leagues.

These slides will highlight the 10 best Asian MLB players that have had the greatest impact on MLB.

1. Masataka Yoshida

Masataka Yoshida
Full nameMasataka Yoshida
Date of birthJuly 15, 1993
Birth’s PlaceFukui Prefecture
Current ageage 29
OccupationJapanese professional baseball outfielder
Net worthapproximately $1.5 Million
Height5′ 8″ 
Weight176 lbs
Eye colorNot Available
Batting average325
Home runs126

Yoshida was a standout in the 2022 Japan Series. He helped his Orix Buffalo win a championship. Yoshida also hit a stunning walk-off homer in Game 5. The 29-year-old outfielder has made it clear that he wants to travel west to play in the MLB next year.

Yoshida won the batting championship in 2020 and 2021 and was second in 2022. Yoshida also hit 21 home runs in 2022, with an OPS score of 1.007 (WRC+: 201) and a WRC+ score of 201. He is the king in putting the bat on a ball and controls the strike zone. He took a league-high of 82 walks in 515 plate appearances, striking out only 42 times.

Senga and Yoshida belong to the same category. He is a star and the best Asian MLB player who will command a major contract. This is something that the Cardinals brass have never done before. He is a reliable contact hitter who has some pop, which solves a problem. Yoshida is currently a fan of the Phillies, and Bryce Harper is his favorite baseball player.

2. Ichiro Suzuki

Ichiro Suzuki

MLB statistics

Full nameIchiro Suzuki
Date of birthOctober 22, 1973
Birth’s PlaceAichi, Japan
Current age48 years old
OccupationBaseball outfielder
Net worth$180 Million
HeightIn Centimetres – 180 cmIn Feet and Inches – 5′ 9″
WeightIn Kilograms – 80 kgIn Pounds – 176 lbs
Eye colorBlack
Batting average.311
Home runs117
Runs batted in780
Stolen bases509

Ichiro is not only the best Asian MLB player but also one of the most important baseball players ever. The Japanese outfielder made his debut in 2001 and has been a consistent performer.

In his first season with Seattle, Ichiro was an outstanding performer in every aspect of the game. After leading the league in hits (.350), runs (127), and stolen bases (56), he was awarded AL MVP. He was no slouch in defense and played flawless right field, scoring eight outfield assists.

Ichiro is known for his signature leg kick, and hip uncoil at the plate. He has been spraying baseballs all across America for 14 years. Amazingly, Ichiro had more than 200 hits in his first 10 seasons.

Ichiro, still a platoon player with the Yankees, has accumulated incredible lifetime numbers. He is the leader in all offensive categories for Asian players, including hits (2771), doubles (327), threes (83), and triples (83).

His glittering career is now at its end, at the age of forty. He is still capable of reaching the 3,000-year milestone. It would be incredible to achieve this feat, considering his 27th birthday. His list of awards and achievements (see below) will lead to his being inducted into the Hall of Fame.

3. Hideo Nomo

Hideo Nomo
Full nameHideo Nomo
Date of birthAug 31, 1968
Birth’s PlaceOsaka
Current age54 years old
OccupationBaseball player
Net worth$25 million
Height6′ 2″ (188 cm)
Weight210 lbs (95.3 kg)
Eye colorBlack

MLB statistics

Win–loss record123–109
Earned run average4.24

Nomo was the catalyst for the rise in Asian players choosing to play baseball in America. He burst onto the MLB scene in 1995 and immediately started confounding National League hitters with his unique hurricane delivery system and devastating splitter.

He was named Rookie of the Year and led the league with 236 strikeouts, a batting average against (.182), and shutouts (3).

While hitters were eventually able to unravel Nomo’s deceptions, he still managed over 200 hits in his first three seasons. Sandy Koufax and Nomo only achieved that feat.

Nomo experienced a turnaround in his performance after a decline from 1998 to 2000. He won 45 games with the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Angels. His Red Sox debut saw him score a second career no-hitter.

While the right-hander was not as successful in his career as Chan Ho Park, his impact on MLB was far greater. And he always plays the role of the best asian MLB players. His performances at the beginning of his career caught the attention of baseball and non-baseball fans around the globe. His fame and success paved the way for other Asian players who have continued to excel in MLB.

4. Chan Ho Park

Chan Ho Park
Full nameChan Ho Park
Date of birth30-June-1973
Birth’s PlaceGongju
Current age49
OccupationBaseball Player
ResidenceSouth Korea
Net worth$40 million
EthnicitySouth Korea
Eye colorBlack

MLB statistics

Win–loss record124–98
Earned run average4.36

South Korean pitcher Park had a 17-year MLB record of success. Park played mainly with the L.A. Dodgers, and his 124 career wins rank first among Asian pitchers.

Park’s pitching skills, which included a fastball in the high 90s and a snapping slider, allowed him to record impressive strikeout numbers throughout his career. He finished in the top 10 in each year of the N.L. for five years (1997-2001).

In 2000 and 2001, he ranked second and third in strikeouts, respectively. While his career ERA (4.36) was higher than those on the list, Park set an example for Asian counterparts. Park is the most successful Korean baseball player ever.

5. Yu Darvish

Yu Darvish
Full nameYu Darvish
Date of birthAug 16, 1986
Birth’s PlaceHabikino
Current age36 years old
OccupationBaseball player
Net worth$23 million
Height6 ft 5 in / 196 cm
Weight225 lb / 102 kg
Eye colorDark brown

MLB statistics

Win–loss record95–75
Earned run average3.50

Darvish is now in his third MLB season and has established himself as one the best asian MLB players in the game. In 2013, his strikeout total of 277 was the highest in the AL. His strikeout total (277) was the highest in the AL in 2013. He finished second to Max Scherzer during the CY Young voting. In 2014, his game rose even higher.

The Japanese pitcher is again among the best in the AL, thanks to his fluid delivery and diverse pitching repertoire. He is currently ranked third in ERA (2.36), fifth among strikeouts (91), as well as batting average against (.220), and sixth in WHIP (1.14).

Darvish holds the distinction of being the fastest MLB pitcher to have 500 strikeouts. Darvish is only two years older than Tanaka and will undoubtedly add to his 35 wins total in the years ahead.

6. Shin-Soo Choo

Shin-Soo Choo
Full nameShin-Soo Choo
Date of birthJul 13, 1982
Birth’s PlaceBusan
Current age40 years old
OccupationBaseball player
ResidenceSouth Korea
Net worth$40 million
Height5′ 11″ (180 cm)
Weight200 lbs (90.7 kg)
Eye colorBlack

MLB statistics

Batting average275
Home runs218

One of baseball’s most adaptable players, Choo, from South Korea, plays a minor position for the Asian MLB elite.

The Texas Rangers outfielder, unlike imports from Japan. He earned his stripes through the minor leagues. He is now the best leadoff hitter in baseball and is with his fourth MLB team.

He is a combination of great hitting and patience that makes him a perfect fit for the best asian MLB player of any lineup. Choo was first in the NL for walks last year. His 112 free passes were 34 less than the next-highest player. His OBP (.423) was second in the NL.

Choo isn’t content to just walk. The power of his bat is also quite strong. His 57 extra-base hits ranked Choo sixth in the NL last year. The left-handed hitter has also hit 110 home runs in his career.

Choo is also fast. He has stolen 20 bases or more in a single season five times. Choo’s arm is also an asset. He recorded a league-leading 14 field assists for the Cleveland Indians in 2010.

7. Hisashi Iwakuma

Hisashi Iwakuma
Full nameHisashi Iwakuma
Date of birthApril 12, 1981
Birth’s PlaceJapan
Current age38 years old
OccupationBaseball player
Net worth$82 Million
Height6′ 3″
Weight200 lbs (90.7 kg)
Eye colorBlack

MLB statistics

Win–loss record78–46
Earned run average3.74

Hisashi Iwakuma, who had won over 100 professional games in Japan, moved to Seattle in 2012. He started out pitching in the Mariners bullpen and then switched to the rotation mid-season.

Iwakuma’s distinctive delivery style of pauses and leg flicks has been a great success over the past three seasons. His career ERA of 2.82 is the lowest among AL pitchers, with more than 50 innings.

Iwakuma brought momentum to the campaign with four wins from his seven first starts in 2014.

8. Koji Uehara

Koji Uehara
Full nameKoji Uehara
Date of birthJul 13, 1982
Birth’s PlaceNeyagawa, Osaka
Current age40 years old
OccupationBaseball player
Net worth$8 Million
Height6′ 1″ (1.85 m)
Weight195 lb (88 kg)
Eye colorBlack

MLB statistics

Win–loss record22–26
Earned run average2.66

Koji Uehara is Asia’s best MLB reliever in just six years. Despite having less saves than Byung-Hyun Kim, Uehara is the top pitcher in Asia. His dominance over hitters places him at the top.

Uehara’s postseason play has been evidence of his talent. His performance in October of last year was outstanding. He was 7-of-7 for saves and had a K/BB ratio of 16.0. Osaka-born pitcher received ALCS MVP.

Uehara is back to where he was in 2013 with this season. Uehara is still the AL’s closest to perfect saves 11-of-11. His microscopic ERA (0.70) is second in this crop.

9. Hideki Matsui

Hideki Matsui
Full nameHideki Matsui
Date of birthJune 12, 1974
Birth’s PlaceIshikawa
Current age48 Years
OccupationBaseball player
Net worth$40 Million
Height6′ 2″ 
Weight200 lbs (90.7 kg)
Eye colorBlack

MLB statistics

Batting average282
Home runs175
Runs batted in760

Hideki Matsui was a notable 10-year veteran of MLB, primarily with the New York Yankees. Matsui, also known as Godzilla in Japan, is the Asian player’s all-time leader for RBI and home runs.

Matsui was a solid hitter in the Yankees’ middle batting order and always gave his team quality plate appearances. Matsui was also a great run producer. He had 100 RBI in four of five MLB seasons. Matsui never sold his at-bats cheaply and never allowed the pitcher to get a cheap out.

Matsui, a left-handed slugger, was also known for his ability to perform in the most critical situations. Matsui’s career record in postseason games was.312/.391/.541. Matsui earned MVP honors for his three home runs and eight RBIs in the 2009 World Series.

10. Masahiro Tanaka

Masahiro Tanaka
Full nameMasahiro Tanaka
Date of birthNov 1, 1988
Birth’s PlaceItami
Current age34 years old
OccupationBaseball player
Net worth$60 million
Height6’2″ (1.91 m)
Weight216 lbs (98 kg)
Eye colorLight Brown

MLB statistics

Win–loss record78–46
Earned run average3.74

Masahiro Tanaka, a newcomer to America, arrived with an impressive reputation. After a perfect 24-0 season in Japan, expectations were high for Tanaka’s move to MLB. He has been a great choice, despite only two months of MLB service. After only two months, he is already the ace of their renowned pitching staff. This tweet summarizes how important he is to his team.

Tanaka could be the most gifted Asian player to ever reach America. He is only 25 years old, but he still has many years to unleash his formidable pitching arsenal, including a deadly split finger on major league players.

Wrapping up

Many Asians have succeeded in MLB and live up to their expectations. Some even exceeded their lofty expectations. They arrive in America with a strong reputation after achieving success in their homelands. Multimillion-dollar contracts follow bidding wars among MLB teams.

Major League Baseball has a rich history of diversity, particularly in the 21st Century. The best asian MLB players left a proud legacy of Asian-American players who have had an impact over the years.

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Toybur Rahman is a seasoned MLB journalist with over 4 years of experience covering the league for various online media publications. He has a deep understanding of the sport, a keen eye for detail, and a great talent for breaking down compound issues into easy-to-understand language.


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