Tsuyoshi Shinjo hails from Tsushima, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan but of course the baseball player was brought up in Minami-ku, Fukuoka. Shinjo started his Japanese baseball career playing outfield for the Hanshin Tigers in 1991. He would go on to play 9 years for the Tigers in the Nippon Baseball League before going overseas to the MLB in 2001. The 6-1 Right hander, wasn’t the best hitter, but was a solid fielder. He actually never hit .300 at all in his career, (his career high was .278) but he did show slight power. His last year in 2000 he dropped 28 bombs with an OBP% of .491. After his 2000 Japan season, the New York Mets decided to sign the exciting 29 year old Tsuyoshi Shinjo to join an outfield filled with Benny Agbayani, Jay Payton, and Timo Perez.
As a rookie, Shinjo hit 10 homeruns, drove in 56 RBI’s and had a batting average of .268, which was actually 2nd best out of the Mets star studded outfield. Despite the Mets OF, they felt Shinjo wasn’t a fit, and they traded him away to the San Francisco Giants along with Desi Relaford for Shawn Estes. It’s hard to argue that Shinjo is single handedly responsible for the Giants success, but he was on the team when they made it to the 2002 World Series. He actually became the first Japanese-born player to play in the MLB World Series (it’s unfortunate he went 1-6 against the Angels). During the season Shinjo started alongside Barry Bonds and Reggie Sanders in centerfield. He chose not to take the Barry Bonds’ sringe and paid the price. He batted .238 and hit 9 jacks along with 37 RBI’s. Consequently the Shinjo was released from the Giants to only be picked back up by the New York Mets.
His last season in the MLB he hit .193 and was sent down to minors. Tsuyoshi Shinjo then decided it was time to take his talents back to Japan where he would play until 2006.
Career Japan Numbers: .253 BA, 205 HR’s, 716 RBI’s,
Career MLB Numbers: .245 BA, 20 HR’s. 100 RBI’s
But despite the numbers, any player with Yoshi in there name….is a bo$$.