2021 Stats (PIT): 43 games, .268/.347/.535, 8 home runs, 25 RBI, 0.1 WAR
The above stats ignored Yoshi Tsutsugo‘s stats prior to coming to Pittsburgh. They’re ugly and bring his numbers down tremendously. We’re going to focus only his Pittsburgh tenure.
Tsutsugo found something in Pittsburgh that he had struggled to find elsewhere – his power.
With 8 home runs in 43 games, Tsutsugo pushed for a lot of playing time down the stretch. He got to platoon with Colin Moran at first base as well as playing in the outfield a bit. He isn’t the smoothest defender but he played a treacherous right field at PNC Park which is unforgiving to many fielders.
If the Pittsburgh Pirates do end up re-signing Tsutsugo, it feels likely he would play more at first base than as an outfielder in 2022. The Pirates need more production offensively out of their first base position. Moran just doesn’t hit for enough power.
Is it likely the switch to Pittsburgh has turned Tsutsugo into Barry Bonds. Because of what feels like an obvious regression next year, maybe it’s best to see what else is out there. If he comes affordable, however, you’ve absolutely got to bring him back next year to see exactly what it is he can bring over the course of an entire season in an expanded role.
If he re-signs, the Pirates could always look to move Moran and create space for someone else to play that position in some sort of platoon with Tsutsugo.