Masahiro Tanaka, Starting Pitcher, New York Yankees, #19
Date of Birth: 11/1/1988
Birthplace: Itami, Japan
Current Salary: $22,000,000
Masahiro Tanaka, starting pitcher for the New York Yankees, began playing baseball when he was in first grade in Japan. He started as a catcher and by the time he was in junior high school, he was both a catcher and a pitcher. In high school, he was a top pitcher. In 2007, he started playing in the Japanese professional leagues and he won the Pacific League Rookie of the Year award that season. In 2013, he had a perfect winning record of 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA.
In late 2013, Tanaka became a very sought after player for several US major league teams. He signed a seven-year, $155 million contract with the Yankees in January, 2014. He started the 2014 season strong but, unfortunately for Tanaka and the Yankees, he suffered a ligament tear that placed him on the DL for quite some time. He finished the season with a 13-5 record, 141 strikeouts to 21 walks, and a 2.77 ERA in 136.1 innings in 20 games.
Tanaka again spent time on the DL in 2015, this time for forearm and wrist soreness. He finished the season with a 12-7 record, 139 strikeouts to 27 walks, and a 3.51 ERA in 154.0 innings in 24 games. He pitched 5.0 innings in the postseason Wild Card game and he gave up 4 hits and 2 earned runs.
In 2016, Tanaka had a 3.07 ERA in 31 games. He had 14 wins to 4 losses and 165 strikeouts to 36 walks in 199.2 innings.
Career pitching statistics for Tanaka through 2016 include:
- 75 games played
- 490.0 innings pitched
- 39-16 win-loss record
- 445 strikeouts to 84 walks
- 3.12 ERA
Tanaka and his wife Mai were married in March, 2012.