ST. PETERSBURG (WDAE) -- First off, call him Yoshi.
That's the first thing new Tampa Bay Ray Yoshitomo Tsutsugo made sure he got out to his new fan base as the Rays introduced him at a press conference at Tropicana Field Tuesday.
"I'm very happy to be a member of the Tampa Bay Rays," Tsutsugo said. "I will play as hard as possible to contribute to the victories of the Rays."
For the ball club, the signing of Tsutsugo is the culmination of years of scouting the outfielder.
"We have closely followed Yoshi over the last several years with the anticipation of a moment like this being in his future," Rays general manager Erik Neander said. "His immense on-field talent, the impact he's made, the results, the offensive production in a league as increasingly talented as the NPB is something that caught our attention and led to our pursuit of Yoshi."
But for the Rays, it's as much about Tsutsugo the person as much as it is Tsutsugo the player.
"Yoshi is someone that by all accounts loves baseball, has an exceptional work ethic," Neander said. "He's a natural leader, we've seen that. And he's a wonderful teammate to players of all types of backgrounds."