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Kyle Higashioka

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kyle Higashioka
Higashioka3 (20001569815).jpg
Higashioka catching for the Tampa Yankees in 2015
New York Yankees – No. 66
Born: (1990-04-20) April 20, 1990 (age 29)
Huntington Beach, California
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
April 10, 2017, for the New York Yankees
Career statistics
(through September 12, 2019)
Batting average.168
Home runs6
Runs batted in15

Kyle Harris Higashioka (born April 20, 1990) is an American professional baseball catcher for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball (MLB). He was drafted in the seventh round of the 2008 MLB draft, and made his MLB debut in 2017.


Higashioka attended Edison High School in Huntington Beach, California.[1] He played for the school's baseball team and committed to the University of California, Berkeley to play college baseball for the California Golden Bears.[2]

New York Yankees

The New York Yankees selected him in the seventh round of the 2008 MLB draft.[3][4] He signed with the Yankees, receiving a $500,000 signing bonus, rather than attend college.[2]

Higashioka played in 2012 for the Tampa Yankees of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League and Trenton Thunder, batting .170/.228/.327 in 147 at bats combined.[5] During the 2013 and 2014 seasons he played in only 13 games combined, due to Tommy John surgery and a broken thumb.[6][7] He played with the Tampa Yankees in 2015, and became a minor league free agent after the 2015 season. He re-signed with the Yankees during the offseason.[8]

Higashioka started the 2016 season with the Trenton Thunder of the Class AA Eastern League, and won the Player of the Week Award.[9] He was promoted to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders of the Class AAA International League during the season.[4][7] He finished the 2016 season with a .276 batting average, 21 home runs, and 81 runs batted in, and the Yankees added him to their 40 man roster.[10]

Higashioka (right) with Luis Cessa
Higashioka (right) with Luis Cessa

The Yankees optioned Higashioka to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre for the start of the 2017 season.[3] After playing in one game, Higashioka was promoted to the major leagues, following an injury to Gary Sánchez.[11][12] Higashioka made his major league debut as a defensive replacement on April 10.[13] He batted 0-for-18 in nine games for the Yankees, and was optioned back to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on May 5, when Sánchez was activated from the disabled list. The Yankees promoted Higashioka back to the major leagues on June 16.[14] After returning to the minors he suffered a knee injury and played in eight minor league games during August and September.[15]

Higashioka began the 2018 season with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.[16] With Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2018, he batted .202/.276/.346 in 188 at bats.[5] He was called up to the majors on June 27, following an injury to Sánchez.[17]

After starting his major league career 0-for-22, the longest hitless streak to start a Yankee career of any position player ever, he had his first major league hit, a home run, on July 1 against David Price of the Boston Red Sox.[18][19] His next two hits, on July 3 and July 4, were also home runs, making him the ninth MLB player since 1920 to have three home runs as his first three hits.[20][21] With the Yankees in 2018, he batted .167/.241/.319 in 72 at bats.[5]

Personal life

Kyle Higashioka is married to Alyse. His father, Ted, is a third-generation Japanese American. Kyle learned Japanese to connect with his heritage and better communicate with teammate Masahiro Tanaka.[3][2] Higashioka also studied Spanish in high school and uses that language to communicate with Latin American teammates.[3] Higashioka promised his mother, Diane, that he would earn a college degree and is taking classes in mechanical engineering at Orange Coast College.[3]


  1. ^ "Higashioka selected to All-Star Game". Orange County Register. July 7, 2016. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Witz, Billy (March 6, 2017). "To Speak With Masahiro Tanaka, the Yankees' Ace, a Catcher Connects With His Own Roots". The New York Times. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e Hennigan, Shane. "2017 RAILRIDERS SEASON PREVIEW: Long road pays off for Higashioka". The Times-Tribune. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Hennigan, Shane (June 12, 2016). "RailRiders: Kyle Higashioka and Tyler Austin are seizing their opportunities in Scranton". The Citizens' Voice. Archived from the original on August 5, 2016. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c Kyle Higashioka Minor & Fall Leagues Statistics & History |
  6. ^ Axisa, Mike (August 10, 2016). "Late-blooming Kyle Higashioka gives Yankees extra layer of catching depth". River Avenue Blues. Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  7. ^ a b Kuty, Brenden (August 26, 2016). "How Yankees prospect Kyle Higashioka found his power, and if it's for real". Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  8. ^ DiPietro, Lou (November 24, 2015). "Yankees re-sign C Kyle Higashioka, lose three to minor-league free agency". YES Network. Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  9. ^ Franko, Kyle (June 27, 2016). "Thunder's Kyle Higashioka named Eastern League Player of the Week". The Trentonian. Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  10. ^ "Kyle Higashioka Added To 40-Man Roster -". Baseball America. November 5, 2016. Retrieved March 29, 2017.
  11. ^ Kuty, Brendan (April 11, 2017). "'Sweet': Yankees' 10-year minor leaguer explains 1st MLB taste". Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  12. ^ Hoch, Bryan (April 10, 2017). "After 9 years, Higashioka earns 1st callup: Improved power stroke has Girardi confident backstop will be offensive asset". Retrieved April 10, 2017.
  13. ^ "After 10 years of waiting, Kyle Higashioka's major-league dreams finally came true". Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  14. ^ "Yankees call up Mason Williams, Kyle Higashioka | What it means". Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  15. ^ Ferenchick, Matt (November 12, 2017). "2017 Yankees Season Review: Kyle Higashioka". Pinstripe Alley. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  16. ^ "The Triple-A Bench Depth [2018 Season Preview] - River Avenue Blues". March 26, 2018. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  17. ^ Name (required) (June 25, 2018). "Yankees Place Catcher Gary Sanchez On 10-Day Disabled List « CBS New York". Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  18. ^ [No Yankee position player has ever taken longer to get his first major league hit]
  19. ^ "Yankees' Kyle Higashioka gets 'indescribable' moment (VIDEO)". Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  20. ^ Associated Press (July 4, 2018). "Stanton, Hicks, Higashioka homer as Yankees beat Braves 8-5". ESPN. Retrieved July 5, 2018.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  21. ^ Associated Press (July 5, 2018). "Stanton, Sabathia lead Yankees to 6-2 win over Braves". ESPN. Retrieved July 5, 2018.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)

External links

This page was last edited on 13 September 2019, at 13:37
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